RAC

2.4 How motorists drive

The distance motorists drive is falling. This year a motorist's annual mileage averages 8,610*, down from 9,010 in 2008†. Two in five motorists drive less than 6,000 miles a year.

The type of journey taken is beginning to change, with just over one motorist in five reducing the number of journeys - both long and short - they make. Significantly over half of motorists have started driving more responsibly to conserve fuel. The belt tightening also extends to the one in five households now using a lower consumption car than last year.

RAC recommends... Driving in an environmentally friendly manner will conserve fuel so saving money and reducing the CO2 emissions the car produces.

Drive smoothly and slowly

Check the road ahead and anticipate traffic. Avoid sharp braking and accelerating. This can save as much as 30% on fuel costs.

Stick to the speed limits - slowing by 10mph saves 40p on fuel for every 10 miles.

Change gear at the right time

Shift up a gear at 2,500 revs per minute (rpm) for petrol cars and 2,000 rpm for diesel cars.

A vehicle travelling at 37mph in third gear uses 25% more fuel than it would at the same speed in fifth gear.

Stop and start less

Get in and go - modern engines are designed to be most efficient when driven this way.

Switch off the engine if the car won't be moving for a while.

Maintaining your car

Check the car's tyre pressures regularly, as under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 2%.

Change air filters when they get dirty as they can seriously reduce your fuel economy.

Remove unnecessary weight and roof racks - they increase the weight and air resistance, and therefore the amount of fuel used.

Air conditioning and other on-board electrical devices (such as mobile phone chargers) increase fuel consumption, so only use them when necessary. Open air vents to keep the car cool.

2.5 The alternatives

2.3 Getting about