While you can't control the price of fuel at the bowser, there are some things you can do to help your vehicle's fuel consumption during the daily commute and stretch your holiday dollars further on your next road trip.
1. Drive economically
Take it easy on the accelerator as more revs equals more petrol use.
Flow with the traffic by maintaining a good distance from the car in front.
This way you’ll avoid unnecessary acceleration and repetitive braking that ends up wasting fuel.
If you can, avoid peak hour and other heavy traffic as your driving style can also greatly affect your fuel economy.
2. Refuel when prices are low
Not when your fuel tank is empty.
The app allows you to find the best pump prices near you with real-time updates from all petrol stations across NSW.
You can select your fuel type (Unleaded 91, Premium 95, Premium 98, Diesel, etc.) and search for stations at specific locations, which is particularly useful on those longer road trips.
3. Unload your car
Are you guilty of leaving things in the car because you can’t be bothered to unload them?
Taking those unnecessary items out of the boot and finding them a permanent home could make a real difference to your fuel economy.
The small inconvenience of moving them will pay off in the long run.
Aim to pack light as extra weight increases fuel consumption, particularly in urban areas where you're often accelerating and braking.
Fact: NRMA has found that loading a vehicle up to its maximum-rated weight results in fuel consumption increasing by 24% compared with an identical unladen vehicle.
4. Windows up and use air-conditioning sparingly
When the weather is fine, put down the windows and switch off the air-conditioning.
This can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10% in urban driving.
However, if you’re at high speed (100km/h or more) the drag created by having your windows down is worse on your wallet than using your air conditioning.
5. Set your tyre pressure correctly
While they’re one of the most commonly neglected areas of your vehicle, tyres are critical to the safety of your family and your fuel economy.
Your vehicle is likely to be loaded with gear, passengers and even a trailer, so before you check your tyre pressure, have a close look at the tyre placard fitted to your vehicle.
There will be a minimum and maximum pressure recommendation depending on the load — the maximum is the one to use.
The correct pressures will reduce rolling resistance and fuel consumption by up to two per cent, and there's another upside — the correct pressures will maximise tyre life.
6. Wheel alignment
If your car is pulling to one side or if you’re feeling a vibration through the steering wheel it could mean that your car is out of alignment or your tyres are not balanced properly.
An improper alignment will see your tyres drag across the bitumen rather than rolling freely, which results in lower fuel economy.
It’ll also cause uneven tyre wear so it’s important that you have your tyres balanced and properly wheel aligned.
In the long run you’ll save money on both fuel and the cost of replacing your tyres.
7. Service your car regularly
Have your car serviced at the intervals specified in the manufacturer's handbook.
Blocked air filters can increase fuel consumption significantly.
NRMA car servicing carries out a 40 point Safety Check free as part of every general or log book service.