Ways to Save Fuel

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on August 31st, 2023       

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If you’re feeling purse or wallet pain at the petrol pump, you’re not alone. According to News.com.au, research by Canstar Blue shows one in three Australians admit to not being able to afford petrol most days. The Federal Government plans to raise the excise on fuel, and there’s much uncertainty in the oil-producing Middle East, so petrol prices aren’t going to ease any time soon. Here’s some proven tips to save fuel, and they’re simpler than you think.

Clean out your boot and cabin

If you're using your car for extra storage or just plain forget to take out your gym bag, pusher or golf clubs, you're wasting petrol. A fuel saving of 2% can be made by reducing your car's load by 45kg. Lighter cars are more fuel-efficient by design, too. 

Get your scheduled services

Some of us tend to forgo scheduled services, putting them off until it's most convenient. But think about it as an investment. By getting your scheduled service, inflating your tyres to the correct pressure and changing your oil to one with low-kinematic viscosity (that's low weight, to the rest of us) you can improve your mileage from anywhere between 4 and 6 percent.

Hold off on air conditioning

Running your air conditioning about town wastes fuel, as the engine has to work that much harder to power the system as you drive. Beat the heat by opening your windows instead. 

Coast or drive under the limit

If you're lead-footing it on the highways, you may find that reducing your speed could save you fuel. Revving harder than you should uses more fuel getting your car up to speed. If you can anticipate your moves, driving without too many lane changes or overtaking, you will be saving significant amounts of fuel.

Park in the shade

One common way to lose fuel is to evaporation. If you park in the sun and do not close your fuel tank tightly, chances are that you're losing fuel unnecessarily. If possible, park in the shade and make doubly sure your fuel cap is twisted on correctly after you fill up.

Consider a more fuel-efficient vehicle

If you're cruising around town in a V8 petrol-guzzler, there's only so much you can do to save fuel. If you don't use your car that often or think that the one you have is costing you too much money as it is, consider switching to a car or vehicle designed to drive more kilometres to the litre. A good choice are hybrid cars, which use far less fuel due to the partial use of an on-board electric engine. 

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