Petrol Prices & Fuel Efficient Driving

OK, so everyone is suffering from increased petrol prices, but what can we do? We can’t control the price of petrol!

Or can we?

I am posting these two “angles of attack” on the problem and urge you to take both under consideration.

1. Exercise your buyer power to pressurise the major oil / petrol companies to lower prices.
2. Optimise your driving to maximise your own savings on fuel usage.

So let’s get to the nitty gritty!

1. Exercise your buyer power to pressurise the major oil / petrol companies to lower prices.

“Boycotting” fuel is foolish, we all need fuel, so lets just be intelligent with our buying patterns. There is a general strategy circulating which I fully support. If we all purchased fuel from Supermarkets instead of Petrol Stations we would be very effectively using our buying power to pressurise petrol companies. Why? Well supermarkets both offer petrol at a lower price to encourage repeat shoppers and often offer further fuel discount schemes for people who shop with them. Two good habits we want to encourage. Obviously supermarkets buy their fuel from oil / petrol companies, but they do so in bulk, and at lower prices than we can. Let’s use this. By buying petrol from the supermarket forecourt, rather than petrol stations, we can actually force the major petrol companies to lower their prices, to compete with these supermarkets, when they do this supermarket fuel will also come down in cost, as the supermarket buyers will demand this, and a positive reinforcement loop will begin.  It doesn’t matter which supermarket you use, any will do! I’m not biased! 🙂

2. Optimise your driving to maximise your own savings on fuel usage.

There are few well know ways of reducing your fuel usage, which I list here as a reminder for all;

  • Style (Save up to 60%): HOW you drive is just as important as how far, best practice should include; Smooth acceleration, using the highest possible gear (without threatening a stall), brake as little as possible letting natural friction slow the car instead (specially on routes you often drive & know well).
  • Air-con (Save up to 7.5%): Air conditioning is horrendously fuel inefficient, wear a fleece or wind the windows down (a little, as open windows decrease aerodynamic efficiency, also if very hot use air-con or windows down, never both!).
  • Tyres (Save up to 2.5%): Lower tyre pressure = more friction = more energy needed. Keep your tyres inflated.
  • Weight (Save up to 2.5%):  Less weight = Less energy needed. Empty that boot & don’t fill your tank when re-fuelling.
  • Aerodynamics (Save up to 2.5%): The extra drag created by a roof rack wastes petrol, as does having windows open.

If you want to take this to the next level check out this wikipedia page on maximising fuel economy.

As you can see we could all be saving well over HALF our fuel costs, of course no one can realise all those benefits perfectly, but even a small improvement can save large amounts of money over a year. Why not try these and see how you go, it’s your hard earned money after all!


  1. You could always do as I do and just not own a car! Walk wherever humanly possible and use public transport when forced to. It’ll also make you more fit and healthy!

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