Running a car is expensive for anyone, and for us students it's harder than most with the cost of insurance.
Together with the costs of lessons and actually passing your test, you'll no doubt have spent thousands of pounds before you even set off on your first journey alone.
With that said, here's our guide to beginning to claw back some extra cash when driving by reducing your fuel consumption...
Plus, it'll help the environment!
How to save money on fuel
There are comparison sites for everything nowadays and petrol is no difference. PetrolPrices.com is a free online service which allows you to find the cheapest place to fill up near to you. The website – which requires a free account – lists all of your local garages and their current petrol and diesel prices, and of course there's an app for it all too.
If you plan your fuel stops you can save pounds quickly and easily. Don't get caught out on an empty tank, needing to feel up at which ever petrol station you next see. Avoid motorway services at all costs, which will often charge a lot more, and try to stick with big chains or supermarkets, where you can always get a good deal.
Drive more economically
As well as saving money when filling up, save more money by keeping your fuel in your tank for longer. Here are our top 5 tips for driving more economically:
- Drive smoothly, changing up gears early.
- Turn off lights, air con and other 'extras' when you don't need them on
- Don't idle - if you're waiting for any longer than a few minutes, turn your engine off!
- Stick to speed limits - the further you go over 70, the lower your MPG
- Drive less - why use fuel at all if you can walk?
Get a better car
While we wouldn't suggest buying a new car just to save money on fuel, it is certainly a factor you should think about when you are about to purchase a new vehicle. It's worth pointing out that you shouldn't make assumptions about a car's efficiency, making sure to do your research.
Whether or not to go with a diesel or petrol car is a big factor. Diesel is the more efficient fuel, but costs slightly more per litre, and diesel cars are also more expensive than their petrol equivalents. You also need to consider new green taxes.
Whether or not it's worth it depends on how much you drive, check out the Which's calculator to see if you'd benefit from a diesel vehicle.
Take advantage of offers
Supermarkets are often giving out offers such as 5p off a litre with a £30 shop, so take advantage of them! But only do it if you actually planned to spend that £30 anyway, else you'll be putting yourself out of pocket just for the sake of some cheap gas.
Make your car more green
There are a number of simple and cheap ways to help improve your fuel economy too. Shedding as much weight as you can will get you further on the same amount of petrol, so be sure to remove anything not needed in your car, such as luggage for trips that you don't need.
Keep your car well maintained, in particular checking your tyre pressures regularly: Keeping your tyres correctly inflated will help improve the cars efficiency as well as handling and wear.
Finally, keep your car regularly serviced in a bid to ensure it drives as efficiently as possible. Things like new air filters and clean oil can get you further.