British motorists cutting back on driving to save money

A survey from Green Flag says that 41 per cent of British motorists have reduced the number of their journeys in response to high fuel prices.

Eight per cent have gone further and traded in their car for something more economical and 11 per cent say they are making better use of public transport.

Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for Green Flag, said: “There’s no doubt that the current price, and predicted increase of the cost of fuel in the UK is forcing many people to rethink their driving behaviour”.

Green Flag has a number of recommendations:

• Reduce unnecessary weight – if there are still items for the charity shop in the boot – take them out!
• Only buy as much fuel as you need, think F1 – the more fuel on board, the more weight the vehicle is carrying around.
• Check all tyres have the correct amount of air, too much or too little can be unsafe and can affect fuel efficiency.
• Be slick: Reduce external drag by improving the aerodynamics. Keep windows closed and lose the roof rack.
• Turn off air conditioning – though it is better than open windows on motorways.
• Make sure the vehicle is serviced regularly to ensure that it is running in top condition.

We would agree with all that, with the possible exception of minimising the amount of petrol in your car. An extra 20 litres of fuel weighs 14.2 kg, which is not a huge difference when the average car weights over 1300kg before the driver gets aboard. As driving into petrol stations frequently wastes fuel, we’d say brimming the car makes more sense – and will allow you to track fuel consumption more accurately.

Here is a link to a great write up on fuel mileage from a different point of view that can help.