Go easy on the pedal and save petrol: AA

Holidaymakers can save a lot on fuel costs by making small changes to their driving style. Photo...
Holidaymakers can save a lot on fuel costs by making small changes to their driving style. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Motorists can offset rising petrol prices by changing their driving style, the AA says.

Automobile Association PetrolWatch spokesman Mark Stockdale said motorists had the power to reduce their fuel bill substantially by changing their driving style.

A few simple style changes could halve a motorist's fuel bill, Mr Stockdale said.

If drivers accelerated and braked gently, drove smoothly and anticipated traffic flow, they could reduce petrol consumption by 20%, or 40c per litre.

''You should drive as though you have a carton of eggs under your right foot.''

When the driver pressed on the brake or accelerator, the imaginary eggs should not break, he said.

A vehicle's tyre pressure should be checked once a month to reduce fuel consumption by 8%, or 16c per litre.

If motorists reduced weight and drag in their vehicle, by unloading unneeded gear from the vehicle or removing a roof rack, they could save 11% on their fuel bill or 22c per litre. Motorists driving with the windows down would increase drag on their vehicle and their petrol consumption.

Instead of opening windows, motorists should use air-conditioning to cool their vehicle but only when necessary because air-conditioning increased petrol consumption too, he said.

Novelty items attached to vehicles, such as reindeer antlers, should be removed as soon as the festive season ended to decrease drag.

The regular replacement of spark plugs, oil and filters would also reduce fuel consumption.

''It's amazing how much you can save and how much it adds up.''

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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