How to Save Petrol

By Angela Monroe - January 6, 2021

How to Save Petrol

Do you shudder each time you look at your petrol gauge and wondering how you can save petrol?

If so, these tips on how to save petrol can really help. We go over some of the best ways to be fuel efficient and keep those trips to the pump few and far between.

Accelerating:

Accelerating

Hard acceleration is thirsty work. Make sure you avoid this by taking a little extra time to reach your desired speed. The idea is to try to keep your engine speed (RPM or ‘revs’) down. It’s easier in a manual as you have more control but you can achieve this in auto too.

Hard and fast bursts of accelerating, especially from a standstill, will use more petrol than gentle and calm driving.

This is why highway kilometres always use less fuel than city stop-go kilometres.

Tip: Imagine there’s an open cup of coffee on the dashboard – don’t spill it.

Tyres:

Tyres

Keep your tyres correctly inflated. The correct air pressure is displayed on your car’s tyre placard – usually located in a door jamb or in your owner’s manual (or simply Google it). 

Under-inflated tyres can cause more rolling resistance and therefore, more fuel consumption. Over-inflated tyres can have reduced traction. Make sure to rotate your tyres too which may seem a hassle but many tyre centres can do it for a minimal cost – both in time and dollars.

Incorrect tyre pressure can also severely reduce the life of tyres, costing you even more than a large fuel bill.

Tip: If in doubt, simply stop by a service station and check your tyres with an air hose.

Cargo:

Cargo

Did you know that on average, a midsize car’s fuel consumption increases by around 1% for every 25 kilograms of weight it carries?

If you’re chauffeuring around sports gear, tools or other items you don’t need to access often, you may be paying for nothing.

Tip: Take the time to plan your journey and only carry the things you need. Often, kids leave toys and games in cars so make sure they take their things with them too.

Roof racks and bike racks:

Roof-racks-and-bike-racks

Similarly to cargo weight (mentioned above) are aerodynamics. More so, this affects vehicles that drive at high speeds.

Drag caused by bike racks and other external cargo can cause as much as a 20% increase in fuel consumption when travelling on the highway.

Tip: If you plan to carry extra cargo on your roof, consider an aerodynamic option – you’ll notice the difference on long drives.

A/C

A_C

The Australian summer pretty much demands air conditioning. However, if possible, limit your use of A/C. Depending on the vehicle and where you’re driving, using air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. 

Like hard accelerating, if you’re asking your car to do more work, it’s costing you in petrol. If you’re regularly driving in heavy traffic in hot weather, check that your car won’t suffer from any common summer breakdowns

Tip: Use the re-circulate option when using your A/C. Most vehicles need less power to cool air inside rather than air from the outside – depending on the temperature.

Be calm:

Be calm

Driving aggressively is great for oil company revenue but one of the worst ways to save petrol. Darting between traffic, hard accelerating through yellow lights and zipping through back streets isn’t only dangerous, but also costs far more in fuel than a calm, gentle drive.

Aggressive driving also costs you in tyres, brakes, repairs due to more wear and tear and increases the chances of a fine or accident.

Tip: Drive like you bought it and own it, not like you stole it.

Fuel-Efficient Driving Overall

Fuel-Efficient Driving Overall

Treating your car well by driving calmly and smoothly not only saves petrol but also saves your tyres and brakes and keeps your car in good condition. 

If your car simply uses too much petrol, get the best deal on a new car and upgrade.

Depending on your commute and the vehicle you drive, taking a few of the above tips on how to save petrol into account could end up saving you 1000s of dollars and a lot of stress.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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