Petrol Costs: How To Save Money On Car Fuel Consumption

petrol costs

Petrol costs are always changing, which means the price of petrol tanks being filled can get expensive. Knowing the best way to save fuel in a car can prevent you from making too many trips to the petrol station.

That’s why we have written this guide on how to save fuel, so you can save those pounds wasted on petrol costs and use them for something better. Stay tuned for everything you need to know about cutting petrol costs.

Don’t Be Heavy On The Pedal

It probably won’t surprise you that the faster you travel, the more fuel you consume.

Accelerating is an essential part of driving, but being gentle on the pedal will save you pounds in petrol costs.

The best way to save money on miles per gallon is to get into as high a gear as possible by changing through lower gears in quick succession. Once your engine hits between 2,000 and 2,500 revs, we recommend shifting up.

The faster your engine is forced to spin, the harder it works and the more fuel you consume. Typically, cars are at their most efficient between 45 and 50mph.

Slow Down

slow down

The AA suggests that slowing your vehicle down from 80mph to 70mph could save as much as 25% in fuel. That’s a huge reduction for not much extra speed.

The study also discovered that slowing down a further 10mph to 60 on smaller roads saves an additional 10%.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance and good upkeep of your vehicle assures that everything is running smoothly. By keeping your tyres inflated to the correct pressure, your engine doesn’t have to work harder to drag your car across the road surface.

Additionally, the recommended tyre pressure will change depending on the load you are carrying. Clearing your car out of any excess rubbish or heavy items will reduce your fuel consumption too. Try storing these items at home or in your garage if possible.

What your driver’s manual recommends for one passenger will differ significantly to three passengers and a boot full of luggage.

Keep The Momentum Up


One of the quickest ways to burn through your fuel is losing momentum.

Traffic can often be unpredictable, but the better prepared you are for what lies ahead the less you have to slow down and speed up again.

By driving smoothly and advancing through the gears efficiently, you can avoid splashing out on ever-increasing petrol costs.

Slowing down, but not stopping in traffic is a great way to put less pressure and strain on your engine.

Remove Drag

Driving with added drag thanks to equipment like roof racks and boxes can be a huge drain on your fuel consumption. While necessary for long family road trips, removing your roof box as soon as possible can save you money at the fuel pump.

It’s not just the box that slows you down and increases drag, though. Even the racks themselves act as wind catchers when you’re on the open road.

Driving with the windows down is another way to burn through your fuel, while something as innocuous as a flag will also decrease your miles per gallon.

Use Cruise Control

cruise control

Cars that come with a cruise control function can reduce your fuel consumption when driving on a flat road. Cruise control will ensure your car travels at a consistent speed, which is the best way of saving fuel.

Knowing how to save car fuel consumption is one thing, but maintaining a constant speed manually is less effective than cruise control due to concentration lapses.

However, when not on flat roads we recommend taking back control of the car’s accelerator as cruise control won’t anticipate the peaks and dips ahead.

Using Heat & Air Conditioning

We live in a country that is subjected to high heats in the summer and freezing temperatures in winter. Because of this, our in-car heating and air conditioning units are a lifeline that prevents us from melting or freezing.

At times they are essential, but using the heating and air conditioning are also a drain on your fuel as they force the engine to work harder.

If fuel efficiency is a big concern, try dressing for the weather so you don’t have to use these climate control options so much.

How Can We Save Fuel On Short Journeys?

short journey

The nature of short journeys means they are not the most economical. If you have several jobs to do in a day, try to make one round trip rather than a series of small journeys.

Your engine works more effectively once it has warmed up, so stopping and starting it doesn’t give it the chance to get into the groove.

For shorter trips, the most obvious way to save fuel is to avoid driving altogether. Try walking, cycling, or taking public transport for short trips and you will notice your fuel consumption plummet.

How Can You Save Fuel While Driving On Hills?

Driving up hills can be a big fuel burner, but there is something you can do to help reduce your consumption.

Try approaching the hill by increasing your speed before you hit the upward slope. Accelerate a little before you get there then ease off your accelerator slightly as you make your way up.

The momentum gathered from that extra little push should carry you up the hill and prevent the need for dropping down a gear and using more fuel.

When it comes to saving fuel by going downhill, it’s a simple case of letting gravity do the work. Once you are over the crest of a hill, slip the car into neutral and let your speed carry you down the hill.

Just make sure to put your car back into gear before accelerating otherwise you’ll be going nowhere fast.

Manual Or Automatic?

In another fuel consumption study, the AA discovered that manual cars are more fuel-efficient than their automatic counterparts by up to 15%. That gap is closing, however, thanks to a larger presence of semi-automatic cars on the roads.

When it comes to motorway driving, the AA found little difference between both transmission types.

If you’re interested in the difference between manual and automatic cars, check out our article Manual vs Automatic Car: Which One Is Best For You?

How Much Fuel Does Stop-Start Save?

Stop-Start technology was developed by car manufacturers to help reduce emissions and save fuel. This system cuts the engine when cars are stationary, commonly in traffic or at the lights, before starting again when the clutch is pressed down.

By cutting the engine, cars can stop using more fuel, however, if things like air conditioning or heating are still running, then the effects are reduced.

When it comes to driving in traffic, this technology comes into its own and some Stop-Start systems can save as much as 5% of fuel.

Car Petrol Cost Calculator


Knowing how much fuel a trip will consume beforehand can influence your travel plans. Some trip-planning apps like the RAC Mileage Calculator can let you know exactly how much fuel your trip will use.

The calculator asks for your start and finish points and calculates how much you will spend on fuel based on your car’s characteristics. Additional information like the MPG and price of petrol will be considered to give you the estimated cost of your journey from A to B.

If you regularly make long journeys for work, you can use these calculators to help you budget your fuel consumption.

How To Save Money On Fuel

Knowing how to save fuel consumption goes a long way, but what about the price of the fuel you are putting into your car? The average cost of petrol changes regularly, so be sure to monitor which stations near you are offering the lowest prices. 

There is no harm in shopping around, but if you are having to drive miles out of your way to find the cheapest rate, perhaps that’s not the most economical route.

Typically, supermarkets offer the lowest petrol costs. Additionally, by refilling while doing the shopping, you are turning two trips into one.

How FairSquare Can Help

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Here at FairSquare, you can search for your next car by fuel and transmission types. This means that you can filter out the vehicles you don’t want, and focus on the ones you do.

We offer great finance options for all credit ratings, and we deliver your new vehicle right to your door free of charge. You even have 14 days to decide whether you’re keeping it or returning it.

We are an independent broker so we can find the best deal for you on our quality approved new and used cars. Why not find your next car from the comfort of your own home?

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Check out new cars and used cars here to set the wheels in motion! Find your perfect car today…

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