Top tips to save on petrol prices

Navigating the roads of South London can be difficult at times, especially as populations continue to rise and the capital becomes increasingly congested.

Giles Spencer Motoring Correspondent

When drivers are able to save fuel, not only does it mean they can go longer between top-ups (which is especially prominent after recent hikes in petrol prices), but the environment also stands to benefit.

And with the Government making a significant push to meet short and long-term sustainability targets, it’s important that London’s motorists play their part.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to save fuel while travelling around South London that can dramatically reduce your costs and help to protect the planet in the process.

Here are some simple methods for increasing your fuel efficiency so you can get around town without breaking the bank.

Use alternative transport
While South London falls behind other parts of the capital when it comes to the distribution of Tube stations, there are still plenty of public transport services that can help people get from A to B in a more efficient way.

For instance, some parts of South London are connected by a tram service, which runs between Wimbledon, Croydon, Beckenham and New Addington.

The south of the city is also well-connected by bus routes and overground trains.

Where possible, opt for the more sustainable approach and plan your journeys using these public transport systems, so you can ditch the car and save fuel in the process.

Buy an electric or hybrid car
An extreme (but increasingly common) measure to save fuel is to ditch the petrol altogether and invest in an electric car.

The UK Government has enforced legislation that will see a ban placed on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 – a significant step on the path to net-zero emissions.

This, along with the growing eco-conscience within society, has seen a steady growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market, with more options being made available by manufacturers each year.

With the rise in demand for EVs across the country, the Government and local authorities have invested more heavily in the requisite infrastructure to support this shift in motorists’ behaviour.

This means that there is a growing number of public charging stations available for use by EV drivers, making it easier than ever to make the switch. While the densest concentration of these points is in central London, the south is well-equipped with a good dispersion of stations, so keeping your EV topped up should never be an issue.

Adopt eco-conscious driving habits
When alternative modes of transport aren’t an option, the best way to save fuel is by adopting responsible driving habits.

There are so many small changes we can all make that can help to support the local environment when everyone engages.

Here are three of the most important eco-friendly driving habits to keep in mind:

Avoid engine idling
Engine idling is where drivers leave the engine running despite being parked or stationary for a prolonged period of time.

This can have a drastic effect on local air quality, with research suggesting that more harmful exhaust fumes are emitted when a car is idle compared to when it’s on the move.

Not only is it damaging to the environment, but engine idling is also illegal, and can cause significant long-term damage to your car.

Accelerate and decelerate smoothly.
Unfortunately, car journeys through the city are often disrupted by heavy traffic, which means it’s harder for drivers to maintain a consistent speed.

When slowing down or speeding up, use the pedals as smoothly as possible, as abrupt braking or acceleration can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency.

Maintain proper tire pressure
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about sustainable driving practices, but keeping your tires at the correct pressure can help to give your fuel efficiency a boost.

It’s estimated that when driving at 40mph with tires inflated to 50% of the recommended pressure level, fuel economy will be 10% lower.

Under-inflated tires are also dangerous to drive on, so be sure to make topping up your tires a regular part of your driving routine.

Sustainable driving in south London
There is a lot to think about when driving in the capital, but keeping sustainability at the forefront of your mind can have huge impacts on the local environment and your fuel economy.

Where possible, switch out the car keys for an Oyster card, and when you do have to drive, keep our recommended sustainable habits in mind.

For further information, visit:

Picture: Michal Zacharzewski/RGBstock

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