Inefficient driving costs English motorists almost £7bn in wasted fuel every year, according to new research from the Energy Saving Trust which has today launched a three-month campaign – ’Fuel your passion’ – to inspire drivers to save money behind the wheel and cut the amount of carbon dioxide their vehicle emits.
The Trust believes drivers could save an average of £270 each, or 20p of every litre spent on petrol and diesel, by simply following a range of simple smarter driving tips. The fuel saved would fill the largest cargo ship in the world 56 times over, or 12,000 Olympic swimming pools.
A new online app will accompany the campaign, and show the goodies motorists could buy with the cash they will be saving.
Energy Saving Trust senior knowledge manager – transport, Tim Anderson, said: “Smarter driving techniques are easy to adopt, but can make a huge difference at the pumps – which is more important than ever in these tough economic times.
“Anticipating road conditions and driving more smoothly, shifting up gears early and turning off a car’s engine at traffic lights all make a massive difference. In fact, if every driver in England adopted the Energy Saving Trust’s tactics they could save around £6.6bn a year.
“Motorists who take simple steps to change the way they drive will soon see a return on their investment. They can use the money they save to buy designer jeans, pay for a trip to the cinema or even save towards a holiday – which everyone would agree are far better uses for the cash in their wallet!
“Energy Saving Trust advisors are on hand to answer any questions drivers have – they can be contacted through our Advice Line on 0845 602 1425.”
Energy Saving Trust experts calculate that an average driver in an average UK car drives 8,437 miles annually. By taking their advice, that motorist could save £270 a year – that’s 74p a day, enough to download a favourite song or snap up a chocolate bar.
Energy Saving Trust’s top smarter driving tips include:
· Drive smoothly – avoid heavy acceleration and braking.
· Slow down – travelling at 70mph instead of 85mph on the motorway can save around £20 a year.
· Shift up gears early, between 2,000 and 2,500rpm.
· Keep tyres correctly inflated – could save around £31 a year
· Turn air conditioning off – could save around £77 a year.
· Turn off your engine if you expect to be stopped for more than a minute.
· Remove roof racks and roof boxes to cut drag – could save around £3 a year.
· Avoid carrying dead weight – remove unnecessary clutter from your car.
RAC technical director David Bizley said: “Driving smoothly without accelerating harshly and braking rapidly can without doubt make a noticeable difference to fuel economy and drivers’ pockets.
“Through campaigns like Fuel Your Passion, and the ever-increasing cost of fuel, motorists are beginning to take the message on board. There has been an approximate 12% fall in fuel sales between the first of half of 2012 and the same period in 2008, which in part indicates that people are already driving in a more economical way.”