Help Me Choose

Helping you save money on your fuel

Fuel expense is a large element of your motoring spend and so should be a key consideration both when you choose your car but also as you drive it.

The first and most fundamental point re fuel spend relates to the car you choose to drive, this may sound very obvious but with MPG fuel efficiency ranging significantly, fuel consumption is often a key factor that is over looked when choosing your new car.

In our vehicle 'Help Me Choose the Perfect Car' tool you have free access to the official Combined MPGs for all vehicles, so this can help you take fuel cost into account when you choose your next new vehicle. (Please see below re issues re the accuracy of this published data).

Are manufacturer fuel consumption figures reliable?

Combined Fuel Consumption (mpg) For some time now the MPG's published by car manufacturers have been under the spotlight with 'real world driving conditions' delivering for some cars significantly less MPG than those published by manufacturers under laboratory conditions.

For some vehicles this difference can be as much as 40% , independent tests show that on average official MPGs are 20% less than those obtained under 'real world driving conditions'.

Official Car Manufacturers Fuel Consumption Figures Explained

Why the EC figures do not represent true MPG

Standard tests are carried out in laboratory conditions and as a result are not fully representative of real live driving conditions. Driving conditions can vary significantly with excessively high or low temperatures impacting fuel consumption, also an individuals driving style will also impact fuel consumption rates.

Urban Fuel Consumption (mpg)

Tests carried out from a cold start, on a rolling road with a temperature environment of between 20 - 30 degrees Celsius. Maximum speed 31mph, average speed 12mph and distance covered 2.5 miles

Extra-Urban Fuel Consumption (mpg)

This test is carried out immediately following the Urban Fuel Consumption test and consists a mixture of approximately 50% steady speed driving with the remainder a mix of accelerations , decelerations and idling. Maximum speed 75mph, average speed 39mph and distance covered 4.3 miles.

Combined Fuel Consumption (mpg)

This is a combined mpg , averaging the urban and extra-urban consumption test results weighted by the distance covered in each test.

New fuel consumption tests being introduced - Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)

The WLTP fuel consumption tests are being introduced to give the consumer a more accurate indication of true fuel consumption, tests will be aligned to more 'real world' driving conditions.

The WLTP will mandatory for all new cars by September 2018 and the tests whilst being representative of 'real world' driving conditions they will still be conducted in a laboratory ensuring that meaningful comparisons can be made between cars fuel efficiency

Our Top 10 Money saving Fuel Tips!

Some simple tips that will make your fuel last longer and save you money

Make Fewer Trips

A car with a cold engine will use more fuel than one that has been driven recently and is warm. Fuel savings can be made by simply combining trips into one, this would not only save fuel because the engine is not starting from cold but may actually reduce the miles driven as well by reducing duplicate route journeys.

Plan The Time of Your Journey

Some journeys have to take place at a certain time to get to an appointment, but planning the time of your journey and avoiding times when traffic is congested will definitely improve your fuel consumption. Cars use significantly more fuel when they start to move than when they a travelling at a steady speed, so sitting in rush hour traffic jams will mean your fuel is being used without really travelling any distance. Anticipating the speed of traffic in front of you will also help, driving at a steady speed without the need to constantly stop and start.

Don’t use your car as an extension to your garage

The heavier your car is the more fuel you will use, so removing items stored in your boot will improve your mpg, Often people leave there heavy golf clubs and trolley in the boot or their pram. Making sure you only carry the things you actually need may be a little inconvenient but will mean you need to fill up less frequently.

Fuel is itself weight

Don't always fill your fuel tank up. Fuel adds weight to your car and the heavier your car is the more fuel you will use. Unless you drive high mileage filling you tank 1/2 or 3/4 full will not be a great inconvenience and will reduce you fuel spend.

Don’t accelerate fast and keep your rev counter down

The faster you accelerate and the higher your rev counter is the more fuel you will burn, its as simple as that.

Turn the air-conditioning off

Air-conditioning increases fuel consumption particularly at low speeds and often gets left on even when the temperature does not require it.

Are your tyre pressures correct?

Underinflated tyres increase the friction with your cars contact on the road contact and as a result increase the amount of fuel used. A simple 5 minutes check of you tyre pressures with not only improve your driving safety but will also improve your mpg.

Improve your cars aerodynamics

Car manufacturers spend millions of pounds designing cars in the most aerodynamic form to reduce the 'drag' effect and improve its driving and fuel efficiency. Common things that impact negatively the aerodynamics of your car are leaving your windows or sunroof open when travelling at speed or leaving your roof rack or car roof box on your car when not in use, the less aerodynamic a car is the more expensive it will be to run.

Slow Down

Higher speeds result in fuel being used at a greater rate, by simply driving at 10 mph lower you could reduce your fuel consumption by between 10 and 20%.

Consider An Electric or Hybrid Car

Electric and Hybrid cars are reducing in cost and have improved significantly with the range they can travel between charges. Average cost per mile for petrol and diesel cars is currently around 12-15p, whist the cost of fuelling an electric car is only 3-5p. Please see our guide to Electric cars to see if this could be an option for you.

Work out your true MPG

  1. Example calculationFill your fuel tank and make a note of the mileage (Start mileage).
  2. Make a log of the number of litres of fuel purchased over a period of time.
  3. Fill your fuel tank again and make a note of your mileage. (End mileage).
  4. Calculate the total miles driven over the period , End mileage less Start mileage.
  5. Add up the total number of litres purchased over the period.
  6. Divide the total mileage by total number of litres purchased to get your miles per litre consumption. Multiple this value by 4.546 to calculate your miles for gallon value.

Example calculation:

End mileage 24,700 less Start mileage 23,000 = 1,700
Total fuel used over period is 140 litres.
Miles per Litre (MPL) = 1,500 / 140  = 12.14
Miles per Gallon (MPG) =  12.14 X 4.546  = 55.20

Shop around for the cheapest petrol and diesel prices

With the fuel spend being approximately 20 - 25% of your motoring costs it definitely pays to shop around to get the best pump price.

From our data it we can see that fuel prices at different filing stations will typically vary by between 6% and 12% within a 5 mile radius.

With fuel prices changing frequently at filling stations knowing where the cheapest current price is could be a challenge, that’s where comes in. This is a free fuel comparison site that can quickly tell you the lowest price filling station in your area.