Sensible driving cuts fuel use

A leading car rental firm has proven that sensible driving can cut the amount of fuel used by up to 44%.

Europcar tested 11 cars on the M25. Eight of the cars were less than one-year-old while three were three to ten-years-old. The eight new cars achieved a 14% improvement over the combined fuel economy figures published by the Vehicle Certification Agency.

A new Volvo V50 D5 Geartronic achieved 58.23 mpg, a 44% improvement offering a potential saving of £800 per year. Other new cars that especially proved efficient when driven sensibly were the Nissan Qashqai DCi and the Peugeot 308 HDi 90.

Tim Bailey, Europcar's Fleet Director said: "Our experiment shows that driving newer cars will save you money, but also that the driving style adopted plays a huge part in the fuel economy."

Ways suggested to cut fuel consumption include driving smoothly and reading the road ahead; changing into a higher gear as soon as possible and sticking to the speed limit.

Other ways of improving car efficiency employed on the trial included not revving the engine, not waiting for the car to "warm up" on cold mornings causes and turning off the air conditioning.

Copyright © Press Association 2008