‘Putting your foot down’ could boost fuel consumption and waste money

Hypermiling: Experts offer advice on saving petrol

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Motorists have been looking to save on petrol and diesel costs since prices spiked at the beginning of the year. Many have been examining their driving style to see how they could drive more efficiently, cut their consumption and save money.

Because of this, drivers are being urged to take a look at their speed and how they accelerate to get the most out of their fuel.

The optimum fuel economy speed will be different for every car, with cars typically being the most efficient between 45 and 50mph.

Over the years the speed of 56mph has often been talked about as being the optimum speed. 

This was due to the old fuel consumption test being run at three speeds: urban, 56mph and 75mph – and 56mph was always, unsurprisingly, the most efficient of these. 

Petrol prices have fallen to 166.66p per litre, with costs expected to fall further.

The RAC has also now forecast that diesel prices should fall after a period of stagnation, with prices dropping to 182.27p per litre.

Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing, said that drivers could boost their fuel efficiency by accelerating quicker.

Many motorists think the best way to improve fuel economy is to be gentle on the accelerator and maintain a slow and steady pace.  

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However, when it comes to getting up to speed – such as going from a 30mph to a 60mph road – research suggests you shouldn’t dawdle. 

Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) is a measurement of how much energy the engine produces per unit of fuel. 

For drivers to get the most out of their fuel, the engine needs to be running at the lowest BSFC zone possible and this changes depending on the revs and what gear they are in. 

Ultimately, drivers want to be cruising in the highest gear with the lowest reves to save the most on fuel when they are at their desired speed.

Halfords is offering a discount on the Fuel Efficiency Pack and customers can now buy it for £10 less. Available at Halfords Autocentres, the Fuel Efficiency Pack is a service where a Halfords technician will clean and remove harmful carbon deposits out of your car’s engine and fuel system using a non-invasive procedure. Book the service now.

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He added: “As a rough rule of thumb, taking longer to get up to speed does not use less fuel, because your engine is having to use fuel for a longer period than if you get up to speed with traffic in a brisker manner. 

“For instance, if your car has a stated figure of 50 mpg and you’re only averaging 45 mpg, you could be paying £137 more in petrol over the course of 8,000 miles. 

“However, putting your foot down and going hell for leather off the lights won’t help the fuel economy either.”

Drivers are advised to aim for two-thirds of maximum throttle while getting up through the gears as quickly and as safely as they can.

For petrol drivers, around 2,500 revs is recommended, while diesel vehicles should be around 2,000.

He highlighted cruise control as being a way to help, provided it is used under the right circumstances.

On long, straight stretches and relatively flat roads like motorways, the cruise control feature keeps a steady pressure on the accelerator, ensuring a steady and efficient use of fuel.  

However, in hilly terrain, cruise control tries to maintain the same speed, so it’s working harder and using more fuel. 

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