7 Ways to cut your fuel costs
Fuel costs represent a large chunk of expenditure for many on-the-road businesses. Anything that can be done to keep them under control is surely to be welcomed! If you find yourself wincing every time you fill up, then read on: we’ve put together a few tips that’ll ensure you get maximum mileage from every litre.
Sometimes, taking stuff out of the back of your van can be a hassle. But even the smallest load can be significant if it’s left in there for long enough. A roll of carpet weighs as much as several burly blokes – and if you’re hauling it around for weeks on end for the sake of convenience, the result can be wasted fuel. The same can also be said of smaller items left in for longer periods: that shovel you break out on the one week where it snows can probably be left in the garage. If you’re driving short distances regularly, then the weight of your fuel tank might even play a role, so keep it half-full.
Inflate your tyres
It’s probably the most obvious step, but it’s one that many of us neglect. Tyre inflation will improve your vehicle’s grip on the road, which will improve handling and reduce braking distances. As a consequence, you’ll need less fuel to transmit energy from the engine to the road. If your local petrol station charges you for fresh air, then it might be worth investing in a pump of your own.
Similarly, it’s important to give your engine an occasional once-over to see that it’s operating efficiently. If you’re putting in thousands of miles every week, even the tiniest misalignment can be costly.
Driving around in circles in search of a drop-off point isn’t just a waste of your time: it’s a waste of your fuel, too. What’s more, heavy traffic will force you to stop and start frequently, which won’t do your fuel economy any good. A decent satnav will solve both of these problems.
Turn off the Aircon
When the UK is being bombarded with sunshine, and you’re stuck in a sweaty steel box, the cold air supplied by your aircon can seem like a godsend. But unfortunately, it’s one that’ll tax your engine, even at low speeds. Like all of the appliances in your car, the aircon runs off the battery, which is in turn ultimately powered by your fuel-tank. Switch it off!
We all like to think that we know how to drive. But there’s a difference between getting from one place to another and doing so smoothly. By accelerating slowly, braking infrequently and upping the gear early, you’ll save enormous amounts of energy. Get into the habit of reading the road ahead and planning accordingly.
By the same token, going over the speed limit will cause you to burn fuel quickly, as well as putting you at risk from speed cameras and concealed police traps. By slowing down, you can save significantly over the course of a year – just be sure that you’ve allowed plenty of time for each journey before setting out.