Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Pump savings

Salvatore Vuono/

Salvatore Vuono/

Although we had the chance to experience some fantastic low fuel prices earlier this year, they’ve since crept higher and higher and according to the AA these rises are here to stay. There are other ways, however, by which the careful driver can ensure their tank of fuel gets them further.

Starting position

There are a number of fuel-saving measures you can take before you even set off. Firstly, make sure your tyres are properly inflated as lower pressure means increased drag and more fuel used. Secondly, make sure you’re not carrying anything unnecessary – the heavier the weight of the car, the more fuel it’ll take to motor around. Thirdly – ease up on the air conditioning, a big drain on fuel, and only use it when you really need it. And don’t forget, at lower speeds it’s actually more fuel-efficient to lower your window than to jack up the air con.

Easy does it

Efficient driving is the best way to save on your fuel bills. That doesn’t mean puttering along at a snail’s pace but go easy on the revving. Choose the highest gear possible that doesn’t strain the engine, allow the car to slow down itself when it’s safe to do so, and when speeding up do so consistently (try and aim for 3,000 revs and under).

Watch your speed

Sticking to the speed limit is a great way of avoiding penalty points on your licence, but it can also contribute positively to your fuel bill. Though you might think you’re making a saving by travelling 20 or 30 km over the speed limit on the motorway, despite the fact that you might arrive early your fuel consumption will be a lot greater.

Research, research, research

You should always manage to make at least some savings if you make the effort, but if you’re driving a petrol guzzler then there’s only so much you can do. Before buying a new or used car, do some research into actual mpg figures – the manufacturer’s claims are always achieved in optimum conditions that are very hard (if not impossible) to replicate in everyday driving scenarios. Websites like feature reviews from car owners that include real life fuel efficiency figures.

Price difference

You might think that shopping around for fuel prices may be a waste of time – after all you’re spending money driving around a handful of different petrol stations in search of the lowest price, using extra fuel in the process. That’s where comes in – an online resource that provides up-to-date and average petrol and diesel prices from around the country. A difference of 1 or 2c might not seem like much but, over time, it all adds up.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.