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Updating your driving skills

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Qualified Drivers

If you are already a qualified driver who would like refresher training in driving safety and would like to save money by improving fuel efficiency the following courses may be of benefit

Eco Fuel Efficient Driving

With fuel prices continuing to rise this course is designed to improve your fuel efficiency to simply save you money whilst not compromising safety or journey time and can be delivered in a simple one hour session. Below are some recent results from drivers that have taken part. Your own vehicle or the instructor’s vehicle may be used for this course. If using your own vehicle it must be fitted with a trip computer all relevant documentation must be seen relating to Insurance and MOT where applicable. The vehicle must be legal and roadworthy.

A driver covering 12000 miles per year would spend approximately £1700.00 on fuel.

This course could save you up to £425 per year approximately 25% or even higher in some circumstances.

 

Name

1st Lap

Avg MPG

3rd Lap

Avg MPG

1st Lap

Avg MPH

3rd Lap

Avg MPH

Vehicle Used

Fuel

Stephen Hinsley

40

58

15.2

12.1

Ford

Focus Zetec 1.6

Petrol

Jason Partridge

50.6

72.9

13.9

15.2

Ford C-Max 1.6

Diesel

Philip Clarke

43.2

70.5

15.9

14.3

Volkswagen Passat 1.9

Diesel

Fraser Clarke

44.2

66.9

11.9

15.3

Ford Focus Zetec 1.6

Diesel

Matthew Rudd

38.4

64.7

8.8

14.1

Ford C-Max Zetec 2.0

Diesel

Natalie Starling

45.7

60.4

14.6

14.3

Ford Focus Zetec 1.6

Diesel

Gary Lloyd

40.9

55.9

13.4

13.1

Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0

Petrol

Maintenance

  • Get the car serviced regularly (according to the manufacturer's schedule) to maintain engine efficiency.
  • Make sure you use the correct specification of engine oil (refer to the handbook)
  • Check tyre pressures regularly and before long journeys. Under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance and so use more fuel. Getting tyre pressures right is important for safety too. Refer to the handbook as pressures will normally have to be increased for heavier loads.

Before You Go

  • Extra weight means extra fuel so remove any unnecessary clutter in your boot you will not need.
  • Roof racks and boxes create extra wind resistance and so increase fuel consumption. If you don't need it take it off.
  • Plan unfamiliar journeys to reduce the chance of getting lost consider a Satellite Navigation if you regularly drive unfamiliar routes consider checking traffic news before you go.
  • Cold starts are inefficient so it pays to combine journeys.
  • If it's a short journey consider alternatives such as walking or cycling rather than taking the car fuel consumption is worse when the engine is cold and pollution will be greater too until the emissions control system gets up to normal temperature.

On The Road

  • Don't start the engine until you're ready to go. This avoids fuel wastage due to unnecessary idling and ensures that the engine warms up as quickly as possible.
  • Drive smoothly, accelerate gently and read the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking.
  • When you have to slow down or to stop, decelerate smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car in gear.
  • Try to keep the car moving all the time stopping then starting uses more fuel than keeping rolling.
  • Change gear as soon as possible without labouring the engine try changing up at an engine speed of around 2000 rpm in a diesel car or around 2500 rpm in a petrol car. This can make such a difference to fuel consumption that many cars are now fitted with Gear Shift indicators that light a lamp on the dashboard to indicate the most efficient gear change points.
  • Air conditioning increases fuel consumption at low speeds, but at higher speeds the effects are less noticeable. So if it's a hot day it's more economical to open the windows around town and save the air conditioning for high speed driving. Don't leave air conditioning on all the time
  • Any electrical load increases fuel consumption turn off your heated rear windscreen, demister blowers and headlights when not required
  • Drive at or within the speed limit the faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and the greater the pollution too. According to the Department for Transport driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Driving at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
  • If you do get caught in a queue avoid wasting fuel by turning the engine off if it looks like you could be waiting for more than three minutes.