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Episode 6 :: Fuel efficient driving

There are many simple driving habits that can really cut your fuel use, no matter what type of car you drive.

Good driving techniques and regular car maintenance can cut your fuel use by up to 20%. Over five years, that's like saving an entire year's worth of fuel.

Wise, fuel-saving driving also means doing your bit to reduce the amount of pollution and harmful greenhouse gas going into the environment - so it's a win-win situation everyone.

Take action

Wise fuel use is not just what you drive - how you drive and care for your car makes a big difference.

  • Drive smoothly. Accelerate and brake gently and smoothly, including in and out of corners.
  • Watch your speed. Travelling at 100 km/h instead of 110 km/h can cut around 10% off your fuel bill.
  • Cut your idling time. Idling wastes fuel. If you're going to be stationary for more than 30 seconds, switch off the car.
  • Check your tyre pressure monthly. If it's too low your car has to work harde r, and it can impact on the way the car handles and brakes.
  • Keep your load down and your car streamlined. It sounds obvious, but the heavier your load is or the more drag you've got, the harder your car's engine needs to work - it can add up to 5% onto your fuel bills. So if you're not using something - like the golf clubs or the pram - take it out of your car. Reduce drag by taking off roof and cycle racks when you don't need them.
  • Love your car. A well-maintained car can use up to 10% less fuel than an inadequately maintained one. Regular servicing, the right tyres for the conditions and proper wheel alignment can all make a difference.

>> Learn more simple ways to cut your car's fuel use.

Did you know?

  • The average kiwi household spends around the same amount of money on vehicle fuel as on energy for their home - about $2200 a year.
  • There are about 2.5 million light passenger vehicles in New Zealand that each use, on average, over 1,200 litres of fuel a year.
  • If every New Zealand motorist used 20% less fuel, NZ would use about 628 million litres less fuel each year - that's like taking 500,000 cars off our roads.
  • The top driving team in the 2008 AA ENERGYWISE™ Rally - in which new cars and drivers battle to achieve the lowest running costs over a four-day route - beat the stated fuel consumption of their vehicle by a whopping 40%.