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Maximise Your Mileage: Fuel-Saving Tips for Your Daily Commute

Jun 6, 2024 | Car, Fuel, Tips & Tools

As a driver on our fair (and somewhat pothole-riddled) roads, you’re certainly no stranger to the ever-increasing fuel prices that can take a significant bite out of your monthly budget. Unfortunately, for most of us there’s no escaping the daily commute, whether it’s to your office and back, doing the school run, or heading out to sort out the admin of life.  

We simply can’t put the brakes on using our vehicles every day. 

Thankfully, with a few simple adjustments to your driving habits and vehicle maintenance, you can reduce your fuel consumption and keep more money in your pocket. In this article, we’ll explore practical tips to help you maximise fuel efficiency during your daily commute. 

Be Prepared (To Use Less Fuel) 

There are two types of tips that can help you reduce how much fuel you use (and therefore buy) – the first are tips that require planning. The second type are tips that are more concerned with your driving behaviour.  

Here are the best ‘be prepared’ fuel-saving tips:  

Plan Your Route: Before setting out on your daily commute, take a moment to plan your route. Use traffic apps or GPS navigation to identify the most direct and efficient route to your destination. These tools will also help you avoid congested areas and stop-and-go traffic, as these driving conditions can dramatically reduce your fuel efficiency.  

Regular Maintenance: We’d argue that keeping your vehicle well-maintained is crucial for optimising fuel efficiency. What this means is that you need to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule, including oil changes, air filter replacements, and engine tune-ups. By regularly maintaining your vehicle, it will operate more efficiently and reduce your fuel consumption. 

Lighten The Load: Excess weight in your vehicle can have a significant impact on your fuel consumption. Remove any unnecessary items from your car, such as roof racks, heavy cargo, or bulky equipment. The lighter your vehicle, the less work your engine has to do, resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Of course, if you are planning to transport extra items that don’t fit in the boot, we’d suggest that you hire or buy a carrier that has been designed to reduce to aerodynamic drag. 

How You Drive Matters  

As you can see, there are things that you can do ahead of time to reduce your fuel consumption, like planning your route. However, the biggest impact to your fuel usage comes down to how you actually drive. These tips should help you make small, but powerful changes that will reduce your fuel use. 

Properly Inflate Your Tyres: Ensuring your tyres are properly inflated to the recommended pressure can make a noticeable difference to your fuel economy. Practically speaking, under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance, forcing your engine to work harder and consume more fuel. Check your tyre pressure regularly and maintain the optimal levels specified by your vehicle’s manufacturer. 

Smooth Acceleration And Deceleration: One of the easiest ways to improve your fuel economy is to practice gentle, gradual acceleration and deceleration. It’s been found that sudden bursts of speed and harsh braking can significantly increase your fuel consumption, so rather focus on accelerating slowly and smoothly, and keep your eyes on traffic flow so that you can brake appropriately. 

Maintain A Steady Speed: Maintaining a consistent speed, especially on the highway, can work wonders for your fuel efficiency. Rapid acceleration and deceleration can cause your engine to work harder, burning more fuel. If possible, use your vehicle’s cruise control feature to keep your speed steady and reduce unnecessary fuel consumption. 

Minimise Idling: Idling your engine while stationary can waste fuel – and you’re not even moving your vehicle. If you anticipate being stopped for more than a minute, it’s generally more fuel-efficient to turn off your engine and restart it when you’re ready to continue your journey. 

Feeling Informed? 

By implementing these practical tips, you can significantly reduce your fuel consumption during your daily commute and save money in the long run. Remember, small changes in your driving habits and vehicle maintenance can add up to substantial savings, so start incorporating these strategies into your routine today. 

You can also use our Fuel Consumption Calculator to get an idea of how much fuel your vehicle will use at different distances in kilometres. This way, you can plan your fuel expenses more accurately, whether it’s your daily drive or a roadtrip somewhere further away from home. 

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