10 tips for saving fuel to cut down carbon emissions and costs

Becky Mundie | 30/09/2022

We’ve pulled together some petrol-saving tips for making your fuel more efficient.

At a Glance

Who knew that simply rolling your windows up could lower your petrol and diesel bills?

From not idling to parking in the shade - we've cracked some petrol-saving tips for you.

How can you reduce fuel consumption?

Whether you’re unable to switch to an electric car soon or are counting down the days until yours arrives, we’ve pulled together some petrol-saving tips for making your fuel more efficient.

Here are the most fuel-efficient driving tips to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

1. Keep your car serviced

It is probably the most obvious fuel-saving tip to ensure your vehicle operates well and efficiently. Whether a thorough servicing from a garage or regularly checking it over yourself. It’s always best to know your engine so you know how it’s best performing.

2. Stop idling your car

This will be a difficult habit to break, especially as we approach colder seasons and long for some warmth while on the road. But when you’re not moving, whether parked or in traffic, don’t idle.

While listening to the radio or having the air-con or heating on while stuck in traffic can help the time pass (or at least make it more enjoyable), leaving your engine running eats through your fuel.

Remembering to turn your engine off not only increases your fuel efficiency but cuts down on carbon emissions, too.

3. Park in the shade

You can lose fuel even when you aren’t using your car. Fuel can evaporate in heat, so park in the shade or cooler areas where you can.

4. Simply don’t drive!

One way to save money on fuel is to not use it at all! Is your journey walkable, bikeable, or busable? Driving may be more time efficient, but is it worth the extra costs of keeping your tank filled – and the extra air pollution it will cause? Even if you cut your work commute by car down two days a week and those two days you use public transport instead, you’re saving

You can always get the train, too. Trainline’s digital tickets now let you know how much carbon you’ve saved by using a train instead of driving (it’s 70%!). It’s a part of their mission to lower greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging greener travel choices. They’ve estimated that their customers “will save 600,000 tonnes of CO2 over the next three years by moving to more sustainable travel modes.”

5. Check your tyre pressure

Get this: the UK's motorists wasted £250 million per year on fuel driving around on the wrong tyre pressures. How, though?

Confused.com shares that “The surface area that’s in contact with the road increases when a tyre is under-inflated. The more surface area in contact with the road, the more drag on the wheel.”

So, keep an eye on your tyres. The smoother the drive, the less fuel is used and the move

6. Plan your journey

Continuous driving, meaning a warm engine, is more efficient than stopping and starting. Save fuel by trying to use routes that have fewer traffic lights and combine your journeys rather than making them individual trips over a few days. AA’s Route Planner is always a great choice for planning multiple stops.

Google Maps has recently introduced route options that label the most fuel-efficient way. These routes will often be cutting out busy city traffic, too, which is always a win-win!

For saving money and reducing carbon emissions, will we ever be choosing the non-efficient route again?

7. Don’t patrol car parks

The time you spend and the fuel you use by looping the car parks for the perfect, closest space can be easily remedied. Sure, finding the closest possible parking space saves walking further, but you’d probably have already made it through the doors by the time you find that spot right outside it. Save yourself time, money, and energy by parking in the first spot you see.

8. Don’t lose momentum

One way to conserve petrol is to anticipate what’s ahead. When a hill is upcoming, try accelerating before you reach it. Even better, if first going downhill, take advantage of gravity to build up momentum to help you on the approaching incline.

Extra momentum should reduce fuel consumption. Change up your gear earlier than needed – even using the highest gear within the speed limit can dramatically lower your fuel consumption.

Slow early when approaching traffic to reduce stop-starts and sharp breaks. It is suggested to drive as if you have a bowl of water in the passenger seat to encourage smooth driving and stop sharp braking, seeing as that “Every time you apply the brakes, energy that you’ve paid for in fuel is being lost in heat generated by the brake pads and discs.”

9. Use the air conditioning and heating as little as possible

Whether needing to warm up, cool down, or de-ice your windscreen, using your air-con “can put a strain on the engine and burn more fuel, especially at low speeds.”

Unless completely necessary, hold off on using your air-con and use an ice scraper to clear your windscreen of that pesky ice or frost (not to mention, it’s far more satisfying).

10. Keep those windows up

Who knew that simply rolling your windows up could lower your petrol and diesel bills? You don’t need to seal them tight all the time, but having your windows rolled down too much overworks the engine as it drags against the wind. When driving, air resistance is not always our friend.

There we have it. Some of the most fuel-efficient driving tips to save on petrol and diesel costs and carbon emissions.

Of course, the most fuel-efficient way to drive is to not use fuel at all. When you find yourself at the point of wanting to switch from pump to plug, you know where Egg is for your home EV charger.

We have plenty of more tips when it comes to making your day-to-day more sustainable here.

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Registered address: Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, W6 8BS

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In relation to consumer credit, Phoenix Renewables Ltd, trading as Egg and The Phoenix Works, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference 965996)

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© 2022 Egg - All Rights Reserved; A Liberty Global plc company. Registered address: Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, W6 8BS. Company number: 07477370; VAT number: GB109695779. In relation to consumer credit, Phoenix Renewables Ltd, trading as Egg and The Phoenix Works, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference 965996)