Put the brakes on excessive fuel consumption

Angela Graham

Angela Graham

With increasing fuel prices, drivers have begun to question how they can reduce their fuel bill without giving up their cars.

World of Wheels Motoring editor Bobby Cheetham says there are several ways to reduce fuel consumption, starting with driving technique.

"Saving fuel is all about smooth driving rather than speed," he says.

"Obviously, the faster you go the more fuel you use, both in town and on the open road. However, smooth driving is about keeping a constant speed and eliminating jerky, stop-start driving. Look far ahead and correct your driving style by braking early (smoothly) when the need arises. Then, accelerate smoothly again."

He adds: "The same applies when turning a corner. Don't brake at the last minute but adjust your speed and turn smoothly and accelerate smoothly. Don't push the pedal to the floor."

Cheetham says that when choosing a fuel-efficient car to drive, there are several options available depending on what the car will be used for.

"If it is for private use, then the smaller the engine capacity the better. If the car is for commercial use and used for long distances, then diesel is a better option than petrol. You can get more kilometres from a tank full of diesel than petrol.

He cautions: "However, diesel cars are more expensive than petrol (cars) and the cost of ownership and repairs have to be taken into account.

"It's quite a complicated calculation to work out distance travelled, purchase cost, cost of servicing and cost of fuel for a diesel car compared to petrol one."

Cheetham says there are other ways to save petrol such as forming lift clubs.

"But check with your insurance company regarding cover for your passengers."