As Which? has just pointed out, fuel prices vary tremendously in different parts of the UK – however, if you want to get more miles out of a tank there is one thing you can do that costs the same where ever you live – check your tyres.
With the price of fuel on the way up again and with the cost varying dramatically in the space of just a couple of streets, there is no time to waste in making your vehicle more fuel efficient.
Under inflated tyres cause higher fuel consumption as the tyres have an increased rolling resistance, which means that the engine has to work harder and more fuel is used, making the car less economical. Research shows that when tyres are under-inflated by just 20 percent or around 6psi, 3 percent more fuel is used.
So just follow these simple steps to start saving fuel – and cash.
* Pressures should be checked against the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level. This can be found in the vehicle handbook and on a plate which is often located inside the fuel filler flap or on the driver’s door sill.
* Check the pressure when tyres are cold (i.e. when you have travelled less than two miles).
* If you are carrying a full load of passengers or luggage or will be towing a trailer or caravan, tyre pressures should be increased in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Details can be found in the vehicle handbook.
* Ensure a reliable and accurate pressure gauge is used.
* Check the pressure in all four tyres not forgetting to check the spare tyre as well.
* While checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a visual inspection. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread. Look out for any bulges, lumps or cuts.
Going back to the Which? article – why do fuel prices vary from area to area? Well, according to the consumer group: “Petrol firms claim petrol is likely to be more expensive where competition is weaker, and cheaper where there’s more choice. That, they say, is why petrol is so much more expensive in isolated rural communities.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office