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Make the best of very high fuel prices

Anyone who has filled up with petrol or diesel in recent days will know to their cost just how high pump prices have risen.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia means further price increases are on the way, as war in the area drives up oil and gas prices

Petrol at an average of €1.78 a litre and diesel topping €1.68 mean a tankful can easily lighten the wallet by €100 or even more. Many people will even think twice about simply filling up at these prices and will only put in what they can afford.

Frightening forecourt costs aren’t going away anytime soon. Global demand for crude oil is set to remain high, and that will continue to filter through to the pumps.

In this situation, it makes sense to see if you can use less fuel so you at least visit the forecourt less often. Here are five tips from Kevin Pratt, consumer finance expert at Forbes Advisor, to help you on your way…

Lighten your load
Remove any items in the boot or footwells that you don’t need with you. Additional weight in the car will make the engine work harder and use up fuel.

Lose the roof-rack
As well as unnecessary weight, a roof-rack that’s not in use creates drag and puts additional strain on the engine.

Reduce your revs
Rapid acceleration increases your rev count and drains your tank. Aim for smooth and measured transitions to higher gears, which use less fuel.

Top up your tyres
Tyres are at their most efficient when inflated to the recommended level. If the pressure is too low, you’ll make the engine work harder, in much the same way as cycling with under-inflated tyres on your bike.

Don’t stand idle
Avoid sitting with the engine running if you can. The power needed to restart will be less than you’ll use in a couple of minutes idling at the side of the road, in a car park or even on your drive.

And remember – if you leave your car running to defrost the windscreen, you probably won’t be able to claim on your car insurance if it is stolen.