Tips for driving your car more efficiently

Most people just accept their current fuel bills as inevitable. However, by making a few small changes to your driving style and car maintenance, you can reduce your fuel bill by as much as 20%! The following tips come from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Avoid unnecessary driving

  • One third of car trips in New Zealand are 2km or less and two-thirds are under 6km - many of these trips could be made another way or combined with longer trips.
  • Use the bus, walk, cycle, or carpool and plan ahead where possible.

Go easy on the pedal

  • Less aggressive driving practices can improve fuel economy by up to 30%.
  • Accelerate smoothly, avoid heavy braking, avoid congested times, and keep within the speed limit (driving at 90km per hour instead of 110kph saves 25% on fuel).

Maintain your vehicle

  • Better car maintenance can result in a combined 10-20% improvement in fuel consumption.
  • Keep tyres correctly inflated, check wheel alignment and regularly maintain your engine.

Reduce resistance

  • Remove roof racks, close windows and sunroofs when travelling at open-road speeds and remove unnecessary luggage (remember, it's good for overall fuel economy to fill up the car with people going to a common destination).

Turn off the extras

  • Use air vents rather than air conditioning - the air conditioner could add 10% to your fuel bill.

Longer term - choose the right vehicle

  • Choose a vehicle that suits your needs (for example, large 4WD's make expensive commuter vehicles).
  • Generally the smaller the engine capacity, the better the fuel consumption.