Motorists in Britain are collectively spending £516m a month more on fuel compared with a year ago, according to new research from Sainsbury’s Bank car insurance. This equates to, on average, £14.64 more per motorist per month on fuel compared with a year ago.

The findings reveal that in a bid to reduce their outgoings on fuel, almost three quarters of drivers (73%) have taken steps to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles over the past 12 months.

Shopping around and planning ahead to ensure they buy fuel at the most competitively priced forecourts is the most popular way of reducing fuel expenditure, with 42% of drivers saying they have done this over the past 12 months.

Nearly one in three motorists (29%) has started driving more slowly and steadily to improve fuel efficiency and one in four (26%) has started making sure their tyres are inflated to the correct level.

Emily Fleming of Sainsbury’s Car Insurance said: “Taking small steps, such as making sure you’re not carrying around unnecessary items in your car or making sure your tyres are properly inflated, can help to make your fuel go further.”

One in five drivers (19%) has cut down on excess weight in their car by removing any heavy items from their boot before setting off and 17% have made efforts not to leave the engine running when stationary. Almost four in ten (39%) drivers have cut down on the amount of driving they do in the past 12 months.