How to Improve Your MPG

When you're driving do you ever think about your fuel economy? With the prices of petrol and diesel increasing, saving money is on the minds of many motorists.

If you are looking for a way to improve your miles per gallon (MPG), you might be surprised at just how much difference a few mph can make. As an example, take the following journey of 200 miles down the motorway. Doing 90mph, pretty much all the way, you can expect to use almost 50% more fuel than if you did 70mph. Surprised? So were we. Many people see this figure and don't believe it. Well why not put it to the test?

For one week drive as you would normally, if you have a MPG computer reset it to 0, it can also be a good idea to reset your mileometer as well.

When you get to 1/4 left in your tank, note down how many miles you did and the MPG if you have it. You could actually work out MPG by finding out how many gallons your tank holds and then dividing the number of miles by the gallons (3/4 of the tank capacity actually).

For the next week, try following these rules to help you save fuel:

  • Accelerate gradually and don’t over-rev unless you have to.
  • Allow your car to slow down naturally instead of braking when possible, such as approaching a red light.
  • Stick to the speed limit.
  • Drive in as high a gear as possible. Most cars will tick along comfortably in 5th if you have it doing 40mph. If you need to accelerate drop down a gear or so until the car isn't straining but under no circumstances should you accelerate hard.
  • Remove unnecessary items to save weight. Do you really need a shovel all year round?
  • Make sure your car’s tyres are correctly pumped up.


When we condcuted this test we found the following.

MPG (Higher is better)
Before 34
After 39

So what does this equate to? Well we found that it saved about 1/4 of a tank of petrol over the course of a week and that could be £8 a week = £8 x 52 Weeks = £416 / year. Thats a lot of money, even if you only drive like this half the time that's still £200.

So next time you're booting it along that dual carriageway, think about how much money you could be saving by slowing down to 70mph.

Tags: Fuel Economy

Released On 23rd Mar 2009

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