Dec 272018
 

Nearly empty fuel gauge


8 top fuel tips which could save you £360 a year

Warranty Direct research shows how you can drive more economically and save money on fuel

Over the past seven months petrol has increased by 10% and diesel 11% with current prices some of the highest we’ve seen since the summer of 2014.

In a recent Warranty Direct study we found the UK is in the top 15% for highest global fuel costs, with rates averaging at £1.71 per litre.

With these latest statistics in mind, Warranty Direct has put together the best ways to increase fuel economy to save yourself a whopping £360 a year.

Problem Solution Money saved per year
Varying speed increasing fuel use by 20% Consistent cruise £67.79
Speeding can increase fuel use by 25% Stick to speed limits £27.87
Not paying attention to fuel consumption displays can increase fuel use by 15% Being more vigilant with checks and knowing the correct sums to work out fuel economy £78.22
Using gears incorrectly can add 15% to your fuel bill Tailoring your gears to your speed £78.22
Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by 3% Regularly checking and filling your tyres with air £15.64
Roof racks can affect fuel consumption by 10% Remove whenever not using £52.15
Keeping air con running too much can affect fuel consumption by up to 10% Try not to use air con while driving at motorway speeds or in stop and start traffic

 

£30.11
“Warming up” your vehicle during colder winter months Invest in some decent de-icer and try to drive off straight away (as long as it’s safe). £10
TOTAL SAVED £360

 


Top tip #1 Consistent cruise

Tests have shown varying your speed up and down between 75 and 85 miles per hour can increase your fuel use by 20%

Major roads make up 65% of total road traffic in Great Britain and if you factor in the average mileage a year, (5,104 miles) you could sa ve around £67.79 each year, by adapting your driving style.

As you get to know your vehicle, you’ll be able to tell what certain speeds feel and sound like without having to look at the speedometer too much, and you’ll adjust your foot on the pedal more naturally.

But especially when you’re first learning (and don’t have cruise control) you’ll need to glance at the dashboard every so often, to make sure you’re not speeding up or slowing down.

Top tip #2 Stick to the speed limits

Speed limits are maximum, not recommended speeds. You should constantly assess how fast is safe while you are driving and make adjustments accordingly.

Cruising at 70 mph uses up 25% less fuel than 80mph and as UK motorways make up nearly a quarter of all roads, maintaining the correct speed limits could save you up to £27.87 per year in fuel costs.

Try staying in the lower gears for longer before changing up. This cuts down on your potential to speed and won’t harm your car’s gearbox, transmission or engine.

Top tip #3 Check your fuel consumption

Many drivers consume 15% less fuel by acting on the feedback that fuel consumption displays provide. It might seem pretty minor, but being more diligent could save you a whopping £78.22 a year.

To keep on top of this, you need to know the equation for fuel consumption is “miles driven divided by amount of petrol used.” If you know the distance you drove and how many litres fill your tank, you can simply divide the miles by the fuel.

You can do this every time you fill your tank if you want to create a long-term record of your fuel usage.

Top tip #4 Drive in the correct gear

To get the best out of your engine when driving in different road, traffic and weather conditions, you need to be able to change to the most appropriate gear at the right time.

The best way to determine when to change gears in a manual car is to listen to the sound of the engine. The more you practice, the more familiar with it you’ll become.

When it sounds like it’s starting to work too hard or it’s starting to make a loud roaring sound, it’s time to change up gear. If the engine is starting to struggle and is making a lower sound after you’ve slowed down, then you need to change down gear.

Correct use of gears can make huge savings on your fuel bill of up to 15%, again around £78.22 per year.

 Top tip #5 Check your tyres

An under-inflated tyre can increase fuel consumption by 3%. Michelin and Kwik Fit claims 4/10 cars have at least one under-inflated tyre, so for 40% of drivers it could save them £15.64 per year.

Tyre manufacturers and road safety organisations recommend drivers perform checks of vehicle tyres at least once a month.

The vehicle handbook, or user manual, will detail the correct air pressures to be used in your car’s size tyres.

Remember, if you are driving the car with a full complement of luggage and people, or intend to carry or tow heavy loads, tyres will need to be inflated to a higher air pressure than they would during normal driving conditions.

Top tip #6 Streamline

A roof rack, even unused, adds wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and making the engine work harder. It can also affect fuel consumption by up to 10%. So, try not to leave your roof rack on your car all year round and only use when necessary to save yourself up to £52.15 per year.

Top tip #7 Turn off air con at lower speeds

At motorway speeds, air con can affect fuel consumption by up to 4% and up to 10% in stop and start traffic. So, leaving your air con on all the time could cost you around £30.11 each year.

Top tip #8 Don’t ‘warm up’ the engine

When starting on those cold mornings, don’t leave your car running to warm it up. It causes unnecessary engine wear, as well as wasting fuel. Instead invest in some decent de-icer and try to drive off straight away – so long as you can see where you are going!

Leaving your car running will cost between a minimum of £10-15 each year.

Simon Ackers, CEO, Warranty Direct commented on the latest findings:

“At a time when fuel prices are rising and Christmas is fast approaching, we think it’s important to make motorists aware of some of the best ways to drive more economically and save money.

“Our tips show there are lots of ways to reduce fuel consumption, both by using new technology and by modifying everyday driving habits.

“If eco-driving becomes the norm, it has potential to drastically decrease emissions, boost road safety and mean less wear and tear on your vehicle.”

Apr 132018
 

New research suggests 48 percent of motorists don’t understand what each dashboard warning light means. While the light may signal a minor issue, it could also be something dangerous or cause expensive damage to your vehicle.

Warranty Direct has put together a complete guide to help any car warning light novice to recognise what your car is trying to tell you…

Engine warning light

The engine light could come on for a host of different reasons, from a loose fuel cap to something more serious like a broken catalytic converter, so it can be hard and frustrating for drivers to pin-point the problem.

Head to a garage if the light appears and they will be able to run a diagnostic check to see what’s going on under the hood.

Coolant warning light

The car’s computer constantly monitors the coolant temperature and overall fluid level to ensure correct temperature is maintained. A warning light on the dashboard means the coolant temperature is too hot, so your engine may be overheating.

Pull over safely as soon as possible and turn your car off and let the engine cool down for at least 30 minutes. Using a thick rag, remove the radiator cap to check coolant level. If it’s low, temporarily add water, then get the car checked by a mechanic.

Airbag warning light

If you ignore your Airbag light and you have an accident, but your airbags don’t deploy, it could have devastating consequences. The airbag warning light can also mean there is a seatbelt fault. Without a seatbelt, you’re twice as likely to die in a car crash so don’t ignore the warning!

Brake warning light

Faulty brakes are the second most common cause of an accident and one of the most important car safety features. The brake light could signal many minor or major issues, such as; broken brake lights, ABS sensor malfunction, worn brake pads, low brake fluid or your handbrake is simply left on.

If the light comes on, it’s essential to go to a mechanic straight away to fix any potential problems.

Oil warning light

The oil light may come on for a few different reasons, such as low oil pressure or a low oil level. If your oil light comes on while you are driving, the first thing you should do is safely pull over and turn the vehicle off. Without oil, your engine is not lubricated and may stop at any point. It can also result in expensive engine damage,) so if it lights up, stop and call out a professional.

Tyre pressure monitor warning light

If the tyre pressure monitoring light is illuminated, your tyre pressure is either too high or too low. This could be because your tyres are underinflated, or you could have a puncture. Firstly, manually check tyre pressures with a gauge and add air until it reaches the vehicle manufacturer specification and resets the light. If the pressure drops again, you probably have a puncture and will need to repair or replace the tyre.

Power steering warning light

The power steering warning light will let you know when a fault has been detected with the steering system. With hydraulic power steering systems, you may be low on power steering fluid. If you see this sign light up, pull over and check the fluid level. Top it off with the correct fluid type and the light should turn off.

For electrical power steering systems, try pulling over and restart the engine to ‘reset’ the computer. If the warning light doesn’t turn off after restarting, the issue needs further inspection.

Without power steering, the car will be very hard to manoeuvre so be cautious, avoid motorways, and take it to a garage as soon as possible.

Battery charge warning light

If your battery charge light stays on after turning your engine on, you could have an electrical fault. This could be a damaged alternator, cable, or battery in the engine. If the battery light comes on while driving, this indicates a problem with the alternator. Turn off everything that uses power in the car (except headlights in the dark) and go to a mechanic.

 

Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075.