January is a good time to adopt new habits. With the New Year comes a fresh start, and the opportunity to change the next 12 months for the better. When it comes to motoring, there are always ways to save money and improve your experience, and this comes from adopting good driving habits each time you climb behind the wheel.
To help you save money on motoring this year, here are a few good driving habits to adopt during 2017.
Economical Driving Habits
Want to achieve maximum MPG from your car in 2017? These tips for economical driving habits should help.
Avoid driving during rush hour — if you can
There’s nothing more damaging to your MPG than idling in rush hour traffic, and even driving on the motorway (at 70mph) is less expensive than crawling along in a stop-start queue. After coming to a standstill cars require an enormous amount of fuel to get going again, and creeping along in second gear is no better — with most cars achieving no more than 15mpg in a slow-moving queue.
For the reasons given above, you should avoid driving at peak times if at all possible. Of course, this is easier said than done, with millions of us travelling to work by car every day. If you have to drive at peak times, be aware of how the traffic is moving in front of you so you can keep moving at a steady pace rather than having to brake and start off again.
Drive in the highest gear you can — without straining the engine
The higher the revs, the more fuel you use. It’s as simple as that. So, by making sure you drive in the highest gear you can, based on your speed, you’ll enjoy greater fuel economy. The perfect way to travel is at a constant speed in a high gear; just make sure you don’t strain the engine by trying to drive too slowly when in fourth or fifth.
Keep the windows closed on the open road
If you like to open your windows to help remove condensation in the winter, you might want to think twice before leaving them open as you head on to an A-road or the motorway. The shape of your car is incredibly important for its fuel economy, and car designers spend a lot of time making sure even the most inexpensive city cars offer some degree of aerodynamic sleekness. By opening the windows (or the sunroof for that matter), you completely change the aerodynamics of your car, causing a massive amount of drag which can lead to reduced fuel economy.
Wind noise and buffeting from a car isn’t just annoying, it’s the sound of wasted money. The quieter and smoother a car can pass through the air, the better its MPG. As a rule, try to rely solely on your vents during the winter, using the air con only when it’s needed, and keep those windows shut.
Make fewer trips
One of the best driving habits to adopt, and one which would make a good New Year’s resolution, is to simply use your car less, particularly for making quick trips. Cold engines use a lot of fuel in the first five miles of driving, so if you constantly make little trips, you’ll suffer from very poor fuel economy. Where possible, group those quick trips into one journey, giving your car’s engine chance to warm to its optimum temperature. Or, why not leave the car in the garage and walk to the corner shop instead? That way, you’ll stick to two New Year’s resolutions in one fell swoop.
Money Saving Tools & Apps
No longer is the weight of a driver’s right foot the difference between good and bad fuel economy; with these helpful tools, you can save money on day-to-day motoring throughout 2017.
AA Parking — Tired of driving around in search of parking? Get the AA Parking app on your smartphone, and you can quickly find available spaces based on your GPS location. The app is also great for those watching the pennies, allowing you to filter car parks by their hourly cost.
Dash — The Dash app is great for those who like to keep an eye on their MPG, offering a lot more information than is provided in most cars. You can track your MPG in real time, so it’s easy to make small adjustments to your driving style to maximise fuel efficiency. Plus, at the end of each trip, you’ll be given a score based on how economically you drove, providing a benchmark for you to refer to next time you climb behind the wheel.
RAC Traffic+ — Never get stuck in a traffic jam again with the help of RAC Traffic+. This handy app offers real-time traffic information and news, so you can plan your route based on current travel conditions. Different routes are graded on the severity of the delays, and new route suggestions will appear automatically as you drive — helping you dodge the queues.
Petrol Prices Pro — If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, you probably spend a lot of time searching for the cheapest fuel stations. With Petrol Prices Pro, you can find the cheapest fuel based on your current location. A few pennies here and there might not sound much, but over the course of a year, this handy app could help you make great savings.
Cyclops – Great when driving new routes and roads, the Cyclops app keeps you updated about mobile and fixed speed cameras on UK roads. The award-winning app boasts a comprehensive database of active speed cameras, sending updates to your smartphone as you drive – so you’ll never be caught doing a few miles over the speed limit on an unfamiliar road again.
One of the best driving habits you can adopt in 2017 is to start adding Redex fuel additives to your car’s engine. Our fuel system cleaners are developed to help your engine run more smoothly, for greater MPG and fuel economy. You can buy Redex for Petrol or Diesel cars.