Published: 15/09/2021

Money saving tips for more affordable driving

Here are some money saving tips when you’re driving.  If you’re spending too much on fuel, we’ll give you some tips how to drive efficiently, make your fuel go further and save some cash.

Fuel economy is an important measure for all cars. Engines are more efficient and we expect even big 4x4s to be economical.

Fuel economy isn't all down to the car though - how you drive can have a big impact on how far a full tank will get you.

Cut your fuel costs

Filling up at the supermarket when you shop will cut your fuel costs, especially if there is an offer on. Comparing the average price of petrol at supermarkets against other petrol stations, supermarkets came out cheaper.

The best way to ensure you don’t pay too much is have an economical car. Even smaller family SUVs aimed at urban use – will probably have higher overall fuel consumption than its comparable hatchback model.

Car reviews from Which? Are independent and will help you choose a car that's economical. They show the engines' fuel economy and using that current fuel price, what it will cost to fill the tank and, how much it will cost you over a month a year.

Go greener

Diesel cars have traditionally been seen as more fuel efficient, but there are now some very economical petrol-hybrid models.

But - choose carefully. One hybrid model has very high emissions. Some hybrids exceed their conventional counterparts for fuel consumption!

Making the switch to an electric car can reduce your running costs. Charging it at home on a competitive tariff, will save you money.

Get ahead with the planning

Plan routes before travelling. Keep a close eye on the traffic ahead to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. 

Sat navs, phone or installed will show you the quickest route to your destination. Many can also recalculate routes on the go to help avoid delays.

Drive smoothly

Smooth acceleration, avoiding harsh throttle inputs. Ease off where possible to reduce fuel consumption. Use the highest gear available without labouring the engine.

Skipping gears can help reduce fuel consumption.

Many modern cars have a gear-shift indicator, telling you the most economical point to change gear. Short shifting.  such as going directly from 1st to 3rd - can also help save fuel.

Avoid hard braking

Some harsh braking is inevitable, but if you're coming up to a set of traffic lights try and coast (in gear) to a stop rather than braking, that wastes the energy used to get a car up to speed. Maybe you won't need to stop the car at all if the lights go green in time and you won't use as much fuel accelerating again.

Check tyre pressure

Make sure your tyres are at the correct pressures. Under-inflated tyres cause drag, reducing your car's fuel economy and are also likely to wear prematurely or unevenly, meaning you'll need to change them more often.

Need new tyres? Take a look here - how to choose and where to buy car tyres.

Reduce drag

Extra drag means your car will use up more fuel getting from A to B. so take roof-racks and cycle-carriers off when they’re not in use. Bent bodywork or ill-fitting trim pieces also cause drag. Open windows can also cause significant drag, so consider using air-conditioning instead when driving at higher speeds.

Get the rubbish out!

The weight of any unnecessary items in your car simply makes the engine work harder to get the car up to speed, increasing fuel consumption. Just have what you need for the journey.

No need to warm up

Advice varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but normally it’s preferable to drive your car gently immediately after starting up, rather than waiting for it to warm up. The engine will warm up more quickly, reducing the potential for engine wear, using less fuel in the process. 

Use an ice-scraper or de-icing spray if your car is iced over, - rather than let your car defrost of its own accord.

Maintain your car

Maintain your car regularly, according to service schedules. As well as reducing the risk of big bills later, a properly serviced car with clean oil and filters will use fuel more efficiently.

If it’s time to switch cars 1Plus1 offer personal loans backed by a guarantor, subject to both the borrower and guarantor meeting our affordability and credit worthiness criteria.

If you think you may be interested in a 1Plus1 Loan, please give us a call on 0330 1200 313 and one of our friendly staff will be more than happy to discuss the process with you, or start your application by applying here.