Whether you’re renting a car or van this festive season, or you run your own car – we all know that fuel prices are ever rising and at this time of year, any money saving tips are welcome! Making a few simple changes to your driving habits can really help to improve your fuel efficiency, having a huge impact on cutting costs.

When the fuel light pings on, you can almost feel your wallet getting lighter. So if you want to save money and spend your cash on other things than petrol and diesel 24/7 – then follow our top tips now!

Make fewer trips

Do you need to go and nip to the shops? Could you walk instead? Hop on a Bristol YoBike? Even if you’re using us to hire a van or car, remember to be efficient when planning your trips to avoid extra fuel spends and unnecessary trips. Also, did you know that when you drive a van or car that has been parked for a few hours, the engine starts off cold, and uses considerably more fuel initially? Think about your trips throughout the day and try to combine errands together such as doing the food shop before picking up the children from school, and you’ll be saving pennies in no time.

Avoid rush hour

This might sound like a simple one, but there’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic for an hour when making a 15-minute trip. Also, each time you stop and start in traffic, you’ll be using extra fuel to get moving again. If you can’t avoid the commute, then try to be more mindful when driving. Travelling at a steady speed more slowly avoids harsh acceleration and braking, which use unnecessary amounts of fuel. Hybrid cars can also help as they use much less fuel in and around towns than regular petrol or diesel cars.

Don’t carry round unnecessary weight

Cars and vans need more fuel to move around when they carry more weight, as it makes the engine work harder, hence using more fuel. So, just like you wouldn’t carry around a heavy bag full of items you don’t need, relate this to your car too. Make regular checks to empty your boot of clutter, get rid of last summer’s heavy camping equipment or golf clubs, and lighten the load!

Close your windows

This won’t help you much if you’re just driving around the centre of Bristol, but when you’re driving on the motorway or at speed, anything you can do to reduce “drag” will make your car more fuel efficient. Although you can’t do much to alter the design of your car, you can keep the shape sleek and aerodynamic by closing all windows and sunroofs.

Removing roof racks

Similarly to the above tip, having a roof rack with alter the shape of your car, even if it’s empty. If you have a modern roof rack or ski box, they are usually simple and quick to fit and remove, so make the effort to remove them if not needed.

Check your tyre pressures regularly

It’s recommended that tyre pressure is checked every fortnight. We can all overlook this though, however the lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel the car needs to move. So don’t forget to check!

Stick to the speed limit

Our final and most important tip; stick to the speed limits. They’re there for a reason, stay safe and don’t ignore the law. Not only will you spend less on fuel if you’re driving slower, you could also save someone’s life. It’s not worth speeding.