A green foot can save you up to EUR 390

Introducing something of an ecological approach to your driving style can reduce consumption by up to 1.5 litres per 100 kilometers. Or to put it another way: for an average driver clocking up 15,000 kilometers a year, that’s a saving between EUR 350 (diesel) and EUR 390 (petrol). And with fuel prices reaching record levels, that’s a nice little windfall.

But how can you earn that attractive little bonus? Just bear in mind the following tips.

1. Engine off

Manufacturers devised the automatic start-stop technologies for good reason. After all, an engine that’s running when the car is at a standstill, even when this is only for a few seconds, is needlessly consuming fuel and therefore costing money. So if you have to stop in front of a lifting bridge or a closed level crossing, turn the ignition key. Consumption when engines are turned on again is minimal and is always more efficient than when an engine is left running.

2. Putting your foot down

When the car is moving again, certainly don’t spare the accelerator pedal. Gently pressing down on the pedal and slowly accelerating only wastes power and riles the drivers behind you. What does save fuel is “stepping on the gas” and pushing up to the speed you want to get to as quickly as possible, and changing up to the highest gear just as quickly.

For a diesel engine that gear change is best done at around 2000 rpm, whilst in the case of a petrol engine the switching moment is around 2500 rpm. However, driving the revolution count higher is pointless. The engine’s flexibility disappears and as the rev counter needle climbs, so the fuel gauge needle falls.

3. A little slower

On motorways we are not allowed to go faster than 120 km/h, and even then that’s barely compatible with heavy traffic flows. But you should also remember that due to air resistance, speed is also a decisive factor when it comes to fuel consumption. If you drive at 120 km/h instead of 110km/h, you’re consuming 3 to 5% more fuel.

4. Turn off gadgets that waste a lot of energy

Technological gadgets and devices are useful driving aids. However, where at all possible turn the air-conditioning off for a while, since constant use of the air-conditioning results in an increase in consumption of up to 27%. The same goes for CDs, DVDs, sat-navs, game consoles and window heating.

5. Anticipate

Don’t drive in a way whereby you’re constantly closing the gap between your car and the vehicle in front. And the aim isn’t always to stop at the next junction, either. If in the distance you see the lights change to red, let your car gently slow down in as high a gear as possible, slowly change down and brake on the engine. Don’t slow down in neutral, since here, too, the idling engine is consuming energy. However, when you release the accelerator when the car is travelling on in gear, you are not using any fuel, precisely because today’s cars are fitted with an automatic fuel-supply interrupter.

6. Under pressure

Air is volatile, and so is the air in your tyres. Tyre pressure that is too low creates greater resistance and therefore results in higher consumption. In the meantime your tyres suffer wear and tear a lot faster and get hot more quickly, which increases the risk of a blowout. A monthly check of your tyre pressure is not an unnecessary luxury, since correct tyre pressure leads to a drop in consumption of the order of 7%.