Improving how you drive and maintain your car can help you save on fuel and running costs. A few simple things can make all the difference.
If you want to improve your fuel economy, start by finding out how much fuel you’re currently using. Your car may have an electronic fuel consumption meter which can display either average or real-time fuel consumption in litres/100 km. If it doesn’t, you can easily calculate the average yourself.
- When your car’s tank is nearly empty, fill it up and reset the trip meter before you drive off.
- Drive around as normal - when the car is nearly empty again, fill it up and keep your fuel docket – it shows how many litres you bought.
- When you get back into the car, note the km’s recorded on your trip meter (which is the distance? travelled on that tank of fuel).
- Work out your fuel economy in litres per 100 km - divide the number of litres of fuel required to refill the car by the distance travelled, then multiply by 100. For example, your car took 50 litres to fill and you travelled 625 kms: 50/625 x 100 = 8 litres per 100 km.
The smaller the number of litres used, the better your fuel economy.
In battery electric vehicles, efficiency is typically measured in kilowatt hours per km (kWh/km).
Changing your driving habits can help reduce the amount of fuel or electricity you use as well as general wear and tear on your car – and can help you be safer on the road.
- Don’t speed - keep at or under the speed limit.
- Look ahead - slow down early and maintain a safe following distance.
- Corner smoothly - don't brake hard for corners and accelerate out of them. Instead, slow down gently, negotiate and exit corners on a light foot.
- Stay cool - use air conditioning and close the windows when you’re on the highway or travelling over 50 km/h. Open windows and turn off the air conditioning when driving below 50 km/h.
- Don’t idle - turn your car off if you're going to stop for more than 30 seconds. (Unless you drive an EV or your car is fitted with stop-start technology).
- Check tyres – check tyre pressure and tyre tread at least monthly.
- Reduce your load - take unnecessary items out of the car, remove roof racks/boxes and cycle racks if you’re not using them.
- Plan your journey - avoid driving in peak traffic when you can, you’ll get to your destination in the quickest, safest and easiest way (and you’ll waste less time and fuel).
Find out how your driving habits stack up, and what changing them could save you by using less petrol or diesel, with our efficient driving tool.
Keeping your car well maintained can help lower costs.
- Get your vehicle serviced regularly - Unless you have a battery electric vehicle, get oil and air filters changed when they’re due and keep your engine tuned.
- Check your tyre pressure monthly - low tyre pressure can make your vehicle work harder to overcome road resistance, increasing fuel consumption (or reducing the range of your electric vehicle), and impacting on handling and braking. It can also speed up wear and tear on your tyres.
- Use the right tyres - use the right tyres for the conditions, and have your wheels properly aligned; use fuel efficient tyres if they’re available for your car.