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GUEST BLOG: Ways fleet drivers can drive more efficiently

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Fuel prices just seem to keep on rising across the UK. According to BBC News, the average price of a litre of fuel throughout the nation was recorded at close to £1.34 for diesel and £1.24 for petrol as of the start of December 2018.

Instead of fleet drivers simply handing over more money in order to keep their vehicles running and their businesses working like clockwork though, VW dealership Vindis has advised that they become more efficient drivers so that they can make the fuel in their vehicles go further. Here’s how…    

Use less fuel by conducting some maintenance checks

A vehicle that’s in tip-top condition should use less fuel when getting from A to B than one that seems to be struggling when it’s on the road. A regular service is highly recommended to achieve the best efficiency, while you need to be always using the correct specification of engine oil too — consult your manufacturer handbook to find the details you need here. 

Both regularly and especially ahead of any long journey, you should be checking tyre pressures too. This is because tyres which are under inflated will force your car into having to use more fuel. Correctly inflated tyres, meanwhile, could improve fuel consumption by up to two per cent in context, according to the RAC.

Use less fuel by completing multiple trips at once

An engine goes cold when a vehicle has been in a parked position for a few hours. As a result, a lot more fuel will be used for around the first five miles of you heading out onto the road. With this in mind, you should look to drive for as long as possible when the engine is warm instead of conducting several short trips with long gaps in between each one. 

Use less fuel by ensuring your vehicle maintains an aerodynamic design

A vehicle that’s subjected to wind resistance will consume more fuel. Therefore, it’s best to keep windows and sunroofs closed, especially when you’re travelling at high speeds. Make sure to remove roof racks and boxes for storage when they aren’t being used as well — up to 20 per cent fuel can be saved on an annual basis by removing a cargo box from a vehicle’s roof alone!

Use less fuel by becoming a smoother driver

Braking and then accelerating can use up quite a bit of fuel as well. Obviously, there will be times when you’ll need to slow your vehicle down — or to a sudden standstill in the event of an emergency — but you should be road savvy enough to be able to approach traffic lights at a gentler pace, for example, or smoothly get up a hill.

Being behind the wheel during times of heavy traffic can also be bad for your fuel economy, as you’ll likely need to keep on stopping and starting your car as you work your way to a destination at a snail’s pace. If it’s possible then, try and get around having to commute in the rush hour. Perhaps you can head to an exercise class or gym that’s near your workplace instead of waiting until you get home, for instance.

Use less fuel by shifting the unnecessary weight from your vehicle

Also bear in mind that a vehicle will need to use more fuel for every extra item that’s stored within it. Every 50kg increases your fuel consumption by two per cent on average, claims the RAC. With this in mind, regularly look around your vehicle and get rid of the stuff you aren’t using.

Did you know that fuel economy can be helped if you only fill half your vehicle’s tank with fuel too? This substance adds to the weight after all, and you’re not going to need 300+ miles worth of petrol or diesel just to complete a half-hour commute.