Six ways to lower your fuel consumption

With the cost of fuel an ever-present concern for the UK's motorists, making even the smallest savings can boost the household budget.

And while purchasing a fuel-efficient car will help, there are several simple methods to lower your running costs, as suggested by

Dos and don’ts - six of the biggest drains on your fuel budget

1. Don’t overload your vehicle

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If your car is carrying excess weight, this will increase fuel consumption. From an unused roof rack to general rubbish, it all adds up. Tools,the spare wheel, jump leads, a torch - it’s up to yourself how important these are for the day-to-day commute, of course.

2. Aircon versus open windows

How you cool your car’s interior down largely depends on your speed. Opening your windows causes drag, but at lower speeds, the fuel used to compensate for drag will be less than the fuel used to power your aircon. However, at higher speeds eg. motorway driving, the fuel used to compensate for drag is greater than the fuel required to power the air conditioning. In fact, the point where you should close the windows and turn on the aircon is around 30 mph.

3. Tyres under pressure

As well as being important for your vehicle’s handling, correct tyre pressure will affect your fuel economy. The surface area in contact with the road for an under-inflated tyre increases drag on the wheel.

A tyre that is 10 PSI under the its pressure can increase fuel consumption by 2.5 per cent.

4. Fuel is heavier than you think

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Regularly topping up your tank,will get you better fuel economy, since as per tip #1, it reduces the weight you’re carrying. suggests keeping a notebook in the glove box to make it easier to judge the correct amount of fuel. When you fill up, write down how much fuel in litres you put in to get from A to B.

5. Plan your journey

Before you set off, work out where and when you will need to refuel. This should help you avoid your fuel running so low that you end up refueling at a more expensive station or making a detour.

6. Take credit for your thriftiness

Supermarkets usually lead the way in fuel discounts and price drops, and often compete to try and encourage you to use their station. So keep a lookout for money-off vouchers and deals.