The average driver could make a 20% saving on their fuel bill, boosting their vehicle’s efficiency to equal, or even exceed, official mpg levels. Without affecting time or speed of travel, a series of simple driving tips could reduce vehicle emissions by a fifth and improve road safety.

“Motorists could save around 20% on fuel costs by making a few simple changes to the way they drive. We have rallied as an industry to communicate this message at all levels so motorists have the skills to save money and help the environment,” said Mike Baunton, SMMT Interim Chief Executive. “Official European mpg figures are a guide to how cars can perform, but the biggest factor in getting maximum mpg is the driver and that’s why we’re so keen to help drivers realise the benefits.”

Driving more efficiently could save the typical driver around £200 per year so, across the country, this adds up to savings of more than £6.8 billion annually. Today’s cars are around 23% more efficient than they were just 10 years ago, so motorists upgrading vehicles stand to save even more.

Helping motorists to achieve or surpass official mpg figures is an important part of the move by the industry. The potential difference between the EU laboratory test can be confusing and industry believes it is important continually to help and educate drivers.

Quentin Willson, motoring journalist said, “Everybody can make a dramatic difference to their mpg if they learn the simple craft of driving economically. Gentle pedal pressure, anticipation and watching the trip computer can improve economy by as much as 20%. Consumers aren’t taught how to save fuel and its time they were.”

1. Read the road
Anticipating the actions of other motorists and the road ahead can reduce harsh acceleration and braking, cutting down fuel use on every journey. Look further down the road than you normally would so you can see what is happening - just lift your head up a little and look towards the horizon rather than the back of the vehicle directly in front of you - your peripheral vision will pick up what the vehicles in your immediate vicinity are doing.

2. Take off the lead boots
Gentle acceleration and deceleration, and keeping a consistent speed makes for fuel-efficient driving which is also safe driving. This is not just good for the pocket, but good for the environment and other motorists.

3. Adhere to the speed limits
This can save lives as well as fuel, but as this article is about saving fuel costs - it is estimated that there is a 10-15% fuel efficiency improvement by driving at 55mph instead of 65mph. Save £00’s on your fuel bill and make the roads safer - win-win!

4. Reduce drag
Simple fixes such as removing unrequired roof mounted items (ladders & materials) that are not needed for the jobs that are to be done during the day - this will require an amount of forethought so you can plan your working day. If they are required, try and get these items inside the vehicle rather than on the roof. Using clever internal racking solutions such as internal ladder holders to store ladders and steps internally, or false floor systems so sheets of materials and long lengths can be stowed underneath the working floor. Keeping windows closed at high speed helps vehicles to remain streamlined.

5. Keep tyres inflated
In the UK around 10 million cars typically have dangerously under-inflated tyres. Correct inflation would save one million tonnes of CO2 emissions and around £440 million in fuel costs per year.

6. Remove excess weight
Removing unnecessary items from a vehicle is a cheap and easy way to reduce fuel consumption. A big part of this is organising your van properly using internal racking systems so you can see exactly what tools and parts you have onboard to make sure you are not carrying excessive stock or tools that “might come in handy one day!”

7. Be energy smart
Only use air conditioning systems when necessary, opening windows at lower speeds can better for fuel efficiency.

8. Consider a driving efficiency course
Making a 20% cut in your fuel bill could add pounds to your pocket, so investing in a driving efficiency course could pay for itself.

9. Regularly service your van
Simple maintenance such as using manufacturer-approved oil, replacing air filters and checking wheel alignment can make an important difference to fuel consumption.

10. Buy a newer vehicle
Today’s vehicles are around 23% more efficient than they were just 10 years ago, so motorists upgrading vehicles stand to save even more.

We hope that you've found this useful. If you have any questions then please feel free to contact one of our team on 0808 168 1171.