What Makes a Car Fuel Efficient and How to Improve Efficiency?

As drivers, we all know how expensive it can be and many of us want to cut costs where we can. By buying a car that is more fuel efficient, you can decrease how much fuel you’re using and also help save money. But do you know which factors make a car fuel efficient? The guide below looks at how cars can be classed as having good fuel economy and also the driving habits you should try get into to save as much fuel as possible. 

Why is efficiency important when driving? 

There are so many benefits of using less fuel and it’s not just about saving money! Fuel efficient cars are ones that maximise the engines efficiency and not only does using less fuel mean you can fill up your car less, but it also means that you are releasing a decreased number of carbon emissions into the environment. Buying a fuel-efficient car also doesn’t have to break the bank either and even the cheapest fuel-efficient cars can have a big impact on the environment and also your wallet. 

What makes a car more fuel efficient? 

Your cars efficiency is calculated by the rate of fuel consumption divided by the power produced by your car. Usually factors such as the size of your car and its weight can affect the power it needs to travel. Usually bigger and heavier cars require more energy and can increase the amount of fuel it uses. Diesel engines also tend to be more fuel efficient than petrol ones and are better suited to long journeys rather than buying a hybrid or electric car which tend to be better for city driving. 

How to improve your cars fuel efficiency:

If you already have a car and want to save as much fuel as you can, there are a few driving habits you should take note of to help reduce your fuel consumption. 

  1. Reduce the weight.

As mentioned above, the amount of weight in your car can increase the amount of fuel you are using as the vehicle needs to work harder. Many of us are guilty of using our cars as a place for storage but by ditching the weight and only leaving essentials in your vehicle, you can help decrease fuel usage.

  1. Maintain your vehicle.

In the UK, every car on the road needs to have a valid MOT in place so it’s important that you keep your vehicle up to date. Having your car serviced, on the other hand is not a legal requirement, however, it is highly recommended that you get a service every year or at 10k miles, whichever comes first. A car which is looked after and regularly serviced can help to make your fuel economy as good as it can be.

  1. Drive smooth.

The way you drive actually has a massive impact on how much fuel you’re using. When you try to get to speed as fast as possible or slam on your brakes, you are using more fuel. You should always anticipate the road ahead, drive as smoothly as possible and accelerate and brake as gently as possible. 

  1. Check your tyres.

Your tyre pressure is really important when it comes to the efficiency of your car. Having overinflated or underinflated tyres can both affect your cars performance. You can find your trye pressure in your owner’s manual or on the inside of your car door and check to see what your tyres should be and then fix them accordingly. 

  1. Combine your journeys. 

Your car needs to work harder when your engine is cold and constantly warming your engine through the day for a number of journeys can put a lot more pressure on you reduce than it needs to. If possible, you should try to combine any short daily journeys into one longer one to help save fuel.