Tuesday, 4 September 2012 10:37 AM
According to new research from Hyundai on driving habits, families all over the UK are having to tighten their collective belts to meet the ever-increasing cost of motoring. The usually yummy Sunday roast is being ditched in favour of petrol (not to eat, obviously!), with 6 in 10 families saying that they have missed out on chicken with all the trimmings. Sad times indeed when the din-dins gets demoted.
Also, the Hyundai research showed that the average family now spends £756 travelling 1,068 miles to visit relatives every year, and they will have no doubt noticed that petrol costs have soared from an average of 87.9p to 134.1p over the last five years, and that’s a tear-jerking 53 per cent.
But, help is at hand – for those that can afford one of the latest, more fuel-efficient cars, at least – with the little Hyundai i20 amongst the best of small car eco-performers, offering fuel economy of up to 88.3mpg and emissions at a road tax-dodging 84g/km of CO2.
Indeed, and more worrying than the lack of gravy-drenched chicken on a Sunday, is that driving standards have also taken a turn for the worst in an attempt to save a little cash. Apparently, 1 in 5 drivers said that they regularly turned their ignition off in traffic (you need stop/start technology), whilst a shocking 27 per cent of drivers admitted to letting their car freewheel down hills to save on petrol – a practice that is both dangerous and illegal. And, anyway, freewheeling still uses fuel as the engine is ticking over, whereas if you leave the car in a high gear to roll down hill you’ll use zero fuel.
This new research makes for depressing reading, but why not cheer yourself up with a little eco-challenge every time you drive (new car or older), using these simple but effective top five fuel-sippy tips:
1 - Limit heavy acceleration - Don’t accelerate harshly, as this uses a lot of fuel at once. Instead, move off gently and smoothly to your target speed and maintain it for maximum miles per gallon.
2 - Use the gears sensibly - Correct use of gears can make huge savings on your fuel bill. Make sure you change up into a higher gear as soon as it’s possible and safe to do so.
3 - Read the road ahead - Try to look ahead and read the conditions of the road - look out for anything that might require you to slow down or stop. By anticipating what is coming up, you'll not only be a safer driver, but you'll save fuel by starting to slow down early and not needing to come to a complete stop.
4 - Keep the car serviced - Clogged up sparkplugs and dirty oil can increase fuel consumption, so ensure your car is serviced regularly.
5 - Check your tyres - Make sure you check your tyre pressures regularly. Under-inflated tyres increase resistance and therefore more engine power will be required. Keep them pumped up in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations for the maximum miles per gallon.
By Daniel Anslow
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