Petrol prices are continuing to climb – with two North East forecourts charging over £2 per litre.

The price of refilling the average family car has now soared over £100, with prices expected to rise further.

Many families are feeling the pinch of rising fuel costs and but used car retailer CarShop has suggested that making a few small changes can help improve fuel efficiency.

The retailer says some changes could increase efficiency by up to 25% and help save hundreds of pounds over the year.

Here are 11 driving hacks that could help drivers save on their fuel bill:

1. Make sure you have the correct tyre pressure

Over or underinflated tyres can be dangerous but also waste fuel.

You can find out what what your tyre pressure should be in your vehicle handbook, on the driver’s door sill or the inside of the fuel tank flap.

2. Cut down on the electrics

If you don’t need your air conditioning, rear window heater, demister and headlights, turn them off.

Air conditioning can use 1 litre of fuel for every 60 miles travelled and costs £1.80 for an average diesel car and £1.67 for petrol powered. Making this small change can save over £200 a year.

Read more: Darlington and County Durham's cheapest petrol stations today

3. Maintain your vehicle

CarShop says that maintenance such as replacing a blocked air filter, worn spark plugs or old engine oil can help make fuel savings of up to 10%.

Looking after your can could save you up to 63p on every 30 miles you travel – or £147 a year based on UK average annual mileage.

4. Don’t start your engine until you’re ready to go.

Leaving your engine running, called idling, can use up to two litres of fuel per hour, emitting over 5.26kg of CO2.

This costs around £3.20 an hour, on average, for petrol cars and more – £3.40 – for diesel.

If your car is equipped with a stop start system, make sure it’s turned on to conserve fuel whilst stationary.

5. Brake and accelerate more smoothly

Both burn fuel, so try to drive smoothly. Accelerate gently and read the traffic situation ahead to avoid unnecessary braking.

Aggressive accelerating and braking can use up to 60% more fuel, which quickly makes every journey much more costly – especially so when fuel prices are so high.

6. Plan your journey to avoid traffic

Sitting in traffic jams is also costly, so avoid them by planning your journey and checking for updates whilst en route. The average car burns two litres of fuel an hour in traffic jams – costing around £3.25, on average, for unleaded cars and £3.60 for diesel.

Read more: Care workers call in sick because they cannot afford fuel

7. Keep your car aerodynamic to reduce drag

Roof racks and boxes all add to fuel consumption - as do open windows and sunroofs - so pack carefully and remove them when not in use.

Driving with a roof box uses up to 25% more fuel than without by impacting its aerodynamics – costing £3.15 more over a 100-mile journey. Even an empty roof rack uses up to 15% more fuel.

8. Declutter your car

Less weight means less fuel, so if you don’t need what’s in your boot, take it out.

9. Use the right type of engine oil to improve efficiency

Check your vehicle handbook to see what type of engine oil you need.

Modern engines are built with finer tolerances and therefore require thinner oils - those with lower viscosity – that can also improve fuel economy by around 3%.

That could save over 26p per 50-mile journey in an average diesel car.

10. Turn on eco mode

Eco mode reduces throttle responsiveness and engine power output so uses less fuel.

On automatic cars, it will also shift up earlier to keep the vehicle in the most economical gear which is calculated from the engine load.

11. Combine short trips

Starting a cold engine uses more fuel, so combine trips and errands if you can to avoid starting the engine from cold time and time again.

Cold engines will use twice as much fuel as a warm engine.


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