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Tips for fuel-efficient driving

November 27, 2017

Fuel-efficient driving can help slash your fleet’s fuel bill and CO2 emissions. Additionally, it can minimise the wear and tear of parts such as brake pads and tyres, helping you save money on replacements and repairs in the long run.

Here, we have rounded up a few simple tips that can help cut the cost of maintaining your fleet, while also reducing your firm’s carbon footprint.

Conduct regular tyre checks

Maintaining optimal tyre pressure will lower the amount of fuel your fleet consumes, while also increasing driver safety. Under-inflated tyres increase resistance, leading to the engine having to compensate by using more fuel. In fact, lack of tyre pressure can cause engines to use up to 3 per cent more fuel for every 1psi your tyres are under-inflated.

Make sure your fleet’s tyres are checked regularly (tyre manufacturer Michelin recommends monthly checks) and that they have all been inflated to the manufacturer’s standards (recommended guidelines can usually be found in the manufacturer’s booklet). Weather conditions also have an impact on tyre pressure; tyres lose pressure quicker in warmer climates, so ensure you conduct more frequent checks during the summer months.

Get rid of excess weight

A simple rule of thumb in vehicle weight management is the bigger the load, the more fuel it will consume. Ensure all vehicles are devoid of non-necessary items such as roof racks to shave excess weight. This will, in turn, reduce the amount of fuel your fleet consumes.

Air resistance is also a contributing factor; much of the fuel used at higher speeds goes towards overcoming this force. Any items that impact a vehicle’s aerodynamics should be removed when not in use.

Be fuel-efficient, drive smarter (and safer)

Avoiding sudden acceleration and braking can significantly lower fuel consumption, while also improving driver safety.

Urge your drivers to leave a reasonable gap between them and the vehicles in front, and to anticipate any sudden changes on the road. This will allow them to ease off the accelerator and cruise for longer instead of braking sharply and consuming more fuel if the traffic suddenly grinds to a halt.

Leaving the engine on when a vehicle is idling is another source of fuel wastage. When it is safe to do so, such as in car parks or driveways, you should encourage your drivers to switch off the ignition when the vehicle is not in use.

Spare the air-con

Air-con isn't considered fuel-efficient. In extreme cases, air conditioning systems can use up to four litres of fuel per tank during the summer months. Encourage your drivers to use them sparingly and opt to use the vent setting instead.

Opening windows can also help lower the temperature inside the vehicle, but only up to a point – driving at speeds of 60mph or more with a window open increases drag and, in certain cases, demands more fuel than air conditioning.

How we can help

Our fuel cards are powered by Fuel+ in association with TMC which may help drive even further fuel cost savings. With total visibility of where and when your employees are buying fuel, you'll be able to pick up with those who are frequent motorway service users and encourage alternative fueling stations. Our fuel cards also come with chip and PIN technology, giving you an extra layer of security over traditional magnetic strip fuel cards. If you'd like to discuss your fuel needs you can get in touch with us here.