Motion & Emotion

Expert Advice For Motorists On Reducing Outgoings Spent On Fuel Amidst Cost Of Living Crisis


A UK minister has advised motorists to avoid filling up their cars at motorway service stations to save money amidst the energy price spike and ongoing cost of living crisis. 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Secretary of State for International Trade, stated that she no longer uses motorway petrol stations and advises consumers to do the same and plan their journeys to take this into account.

New figures reveal that the price of petrol has recently hit another record high, with the cost of gasoline climbing to 167.64p a litre and 180.88p for diesel.

There is a staggering price difference between motorway service stations and local petrol stations or supermarkets. Planning and filling up before longer journeys should help keep fuel costs down.

That being said, drivers running low on fuel on the motorway shouldn’t avoid filling up at all, as this could lead to a potential breakdown.

Considering this news, Brean Horne, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, has compiled a list of considerations for motorists looking to cut down on petrol costs and reduce their fuel consumption:

  1. Check Tyre Pressure

Under-inflated tyres mean the engine must work harder to keep the vehicle moving, burning more fuel. Regularly checking tyre pressure, especially before long journeys, will help keep fuel consumption down and helps your tyres last longer.

Check the vehicle’s handbook to know the recommended pressure for your tyres. The pressure may also be printed on the sill of the driver’s door or inside the fuel tank flap. This should be checked at least once a month and before a long journey.

  1. Switch the Engine Off

Leaving the engine running while a car is stationary consumes more fuel. It’s best to switch the engine off when your vehicle is at a standstill, such as in heavy traffic or waiting at traffic lights.

Some newer vehicles are being fitted with stop-start technology, which does this automatically.

  1. Avoid Unnecessary or Short Journeys

Taking multiple short journeys has an impact on fuel consumption. Longer journeys allow the car’s engine to warm up to its most fuel-efficient temperature, so it’s more efficient to make one round trip instead of lots of small ones when you can.

It could be helpful to keep track of your household’s weekly mileage and factor in journeys which could have been avoided or merged into one trip. It is also beneficial to swap short car journeys out to walk/cycle these instead. This will keep fuel consumption and costs down, but it will also benefit your physical fitness!

  1. Take Out Fuel Loyalty Cards

Several supermarkets and petrol stations allow customers to use loyalty cards or cashback schemes to help cover the cost of petrol. The retailer offers loyalty cards to encourage customers to continue using their services.

Some examples of supermarket loyalty cards include the Morrisons More card, Tesco Clubcard, and Nectar Card, and example petrol station loyalty cards include Shell Go+ and BPme Rewards.

  1. Drive More Smoothly

Heavy braking and harsh acceleration have a significant impact on fuel consumption. Driving more smoothly will limit fuel consumption and decrease the amount of wear and tear on the vehicle.

Being aware of the road ahead and other road users will help you drive more smoothly and avoid abrupt speed changes.

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