Driving Down the Cost of Motoring

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Fuel prices are continuing to soar to record levels, with the average price of petrol and diesel over £1.34 a litre. And if that’s not shocking enough, it is affecting household budgets by several hundred pounds per year.

Figures have shown since 2011 that these rises are affecting household budgets by as much as £38 per month*.

The price of fuel could have serious repercussions for many people’s mobility. Lower income drivers, volunteer workers, young people and those living in rural locations are just some of the most vulnerable that are finding it increasingly difficult to stay on the road.

But there are steps motorists can take to ensure their petrol goes further, from considering fuel consumption when purchasing a car, to making simple changes to the way they use and drive their car.

Jon Seaman, manager of The Car People Sheffield, says: “People’s car buying habits have changed dramatically since the recession started. Now our fastest selling and most desirable cars are the superminis - smaller cars with smaller engines - simply because of fuel efficiency rates.”

Alongside advising customers on the most fuel-efficient vehicle to suit their lifestyles, the staff at The Car People are increasingly being asked by customers what they can do to make their fuel work harder. Here are some top tips from the hassle free motoring experts at The Car People:
1.    Remove unnecessary weight from the vehicle, such as bags, pushchairs, equipment and tools you’re not using.
2.    Check your tyre pressures regularly – most petrol stations have air and simple guides to ensure your tyres are the right pressure.
3.    Only using air conditioning when really needed, as this uses extra fuel. In fact, so do gadgets and gizmos, so think twice before you crank up your SatNav, phone charger or even the stereo – do you really need it?
4.    While driving, try lowering your speed and staying in the lowest gear possible, on average, you should change gear when your rev counter hits 2,500 on petrol cars, 2,000 on diesel – try doing just this for one week, and you will genuinely see a difference.
5.    Sudden breaking and acceleration both impact on the amount of petrol you’re using.
6.    If you’re going to be stuck in traffic for a while, switch off your engine.
7.    Reduce your car usage. Sounds obvious, but we are all guilty of jumping in the car when, really, the journey could be made on foot.
8.    Choose a greener car.

Jon comments: “The majority of our customers now want to know about fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and MPG when buying a car - this is why we list all this information on our forecourt cars. People can also input what they would like in terms of efficiency and ideal insurance brackets on our website to ensure that they are getting the right car.”

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Rachel Stephens
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