Drivers urged to follow ‘simple tip’ which could stop people wasting ‘4p of fuel a minute’

Fuel: Matt Allwright shares tips on making your car more efficient

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The RAC is predicting that petrol, super unleaded and diesel will all continue to fall in price just weeks after hitting all-time record high costs. Despite this, many drivers are still conscious of their petrol and diesel bills and have been using various methods to make their fuel last longer.

One key step that drivers could take advantage of is to avoid idling when at the wheel.

Rule 123 of the Highway Code highlights the “driver and the environment” and declares that drivers must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running.

Drivers are urged to avoid leaving their engine on unnecessarily to cut down on noise and air pollution.

The rest of the rule states: “You must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. 

“Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. 

“However it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults.”

Sometimes, often in winter, drivers may leave their car running to warm it up or to clear their windscreen from fog or frost.

In other instances, drivers may avoid turning off their ignition if they are dropping something off at a friend’s house or when stuck in standstill traffic.

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Research has shown that an idling engine can burn through three to four pence worth of fuel every minute.

Speaking previously to, Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO of MotorEasy, warned drivers of the massive costs they face simply for keeping their engine on.

He said: “While this might seem very innocent, research has shown an idling engine can burn through 3-4p of fuel a minute.

“If you are doing 10 minutes of warming up, five days a week, and spending another 30 minutes per week stuck in traffic.

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“That adds up to a very handy £166 a year that’s being wasted.

“It’s obviously not great for the environment to have increased emissions escaping into the atmosphere either.”

Many modern cars with “stop/start” technology save fuel by turning the engine off while the vehicle is stationary.

On average, a litre of petrol now costs 184.5p per litre, while diesel drivers face costs of 193.9p a litre.

All prices, including super unleaded which has fallen below £2, are expected to fall in the near future.

Will Bullen, of Car Lease Special Offers, said drivers were cautious of their fuel bills now and would try to do anything they could to bring costs down.

He said: “We know a lot of people are looking to save money right now and these simple tips are a great start to cutting costs at the petrol pump. 

“Smooth acceleration and braking are the obvious ones, but we also recommend anticipating traffic lights and slow-moving traffic, rather than flooring it between each stop. 

“Only small adjustments can have a positive impact on both your fuel consumption and bank balance.”

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