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6 reasons you're using too much petrol

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Fuel prices are one of the biggest issues for motorists at the moment, so it’s worth doing all you can to drive as efficiently as possible.

Empty fuel gauge

Here are some of the most common ways in which you might be wasting petrol and diesel.

Your boot is overloaded

Torch, jack, wrench, spare wheel, screen wash, blanket, jump leads, foot pump, de-icer and scraper - that’s already a lot of stuff. Although it’s not advisable to venture out without the above, especially in winter.

But footballs, deckchairs, toys and so on might be handy from time to time, but they cost you money to transport.

The trick to reducing what you spend on petrol is to make a series of small changes, starting with a boot clearout.

You're wearing the wrong shoes

Shoes with thick soles make efficient driving tricky, as they apply extra weight to the accelerator and make it difficult to speed up smoothly.

Sky-high heels are also a problem.

Windows down or air conditioning on?

Either method of achieving a civilised ambient temperature can be wrong, depending on your speed.

Air conditioning uses fuel, and having the windows down causes drag which uses up fuel too.

While driving at low speeds, the fuel used to compensate for drag is less than the fuel used to power your air con, so open the window.

While driving on the motorway, it’s the other way around. The fuel used to compensate for drag is greater than the fuel required to have the air conditioning on.

The tipping point is 30 mph.

Your tyres aren't the right pressure

Tyres main

If you can’t tell from how your car handles that your tyres aren’t the right pressure, then your fuel economy should tip you off.

The surface area that is contact with the road increases when a tyre is under-inflated. The more surface area in contact with the road, the more drag on the wheel.

Research conducted in 2008 found that a tyre just 10 pounds per square inch (PSI) under the recommended level can increase fuel consumption by 2.5 per cent.

If you’re unsure what pressure your tyres should be, check your handbook or look online.

You've got bad pump habits

As annoying as it is to regularly top up your fuel, it does help you get more miles for your money.

Only topping up with what you need and avoiding having a full tank means the fuel you do have goes slightly further.

To make it easier to judge the correct amount of fuel, keep a notebook in the glove box and write down how much fuel (in litres, not pounds as the price is always changing) you put in to get from a to b.

Some fuel tanks can take up to 109 litres, so that’s a significant amount of extra weight to carry around. You wouldn’t leave 109 litres worth of bottled water in your boot, would you?

Written by Sean O’Meara from Watch my Wallet.

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