If you were to ask me what type of driver I was, I would say that I was safe, always in control and someone that friends and family are happy to be in a car with.
I do think about how much fuel I’m using and I’m conscious that I do a lot of short journeys which I know are not cost effective. But unfortunately not a lot I can change about them. So, when Ageas Insurance asked me to take part in a fuel efficiency test I was keen to see firstly how well I did, and secondly what advice they could give me.
They filmed me doing the fuel efficiency test, which I’ve shared below and its definitely worth a watch. I was surprised that by making a few simple changes to my driving and driving more efficiently I could save enough money to pay for the girls Christmas presents!
I’ve grabbed your attention now, haven’t I?
I was joined by Steve, from The Blue Lamp Trust and he accompanied me on my car journeys and gave me some advice. I was going to be driving a manual car, which I hadn’t driven before and inside it had a fuel efficiency system to monitor me.
We set off for our first 20 minute drive, where I just had to drive as I normally would. I was in a town that I didn’t know the roads or the layout ahead. But I was confident with the car that I was driving and I didn’t feel anxious about it.
At the end of the drive, Steve talked me through my drive, and the results of the fuel efficiency. He said that I drove very well, and my fuel efficiency wasn’t too bad and with a couple of changes I could reduce it even more. He said that a lot people when going down gears, go 5,4,3,2,1. Whereas if I wanted to go from 5 to 3, I just did it and missed out 4. Which apparently meant I already saved a lot of fuel. But if this is something that you do, its worth considering when you’re driving.
Steve advise is quite simple, to keep the energy in the car. Once you’ve got the car moving, try to cut down on the amount of times you come to a complete stop. Look ahead more and gage the traffic, if you are approaching traffic lights that are red, slow right down and just let the car roll forward. In the hope that the lights will turn green, before you actually come to a stop.
When you are approaching a roundabout, again look at the traffic and try to keep the car rolling forward, as you wait to move ahead.
With Steve’s advice ringing in my ears, it was time to do the exact same journey, putting his advice into action and see if I could improve my fuel efficiency.
I felt like I was more in control of my drive, looking ahead more and slowing the car down. There was a lot less stop/starting and I was keeping the car moving. I was also moving through the gears quicker, which was something else that Steve had said. Don’t wait for the car to pull, before you change up a gear. Get to fifth gear, as quickly as possible.
At the end of the drive we compared my fuel efficiency on the two drives. I managed to improve my miles per gallon (mpg) from 35.8 on my first drive to 39.3 on my second drive, an improvement which could lead to a fuel saving of about £120 each year. Which is just incredible and like I said before, it would pay for the girls Christmas presents.
It was really interesting to see how by making a few simple and easy changes to my driving, I would save so much money each year and also the effect it could have on the environment. Especially if everyone did it.
The changes to my driving, reminded me of when I used to have sleeping babies in the back of the car. I used to try and keep the car moving back then, because if the car stopped, Alice would wake up. Andy and I used to dread a red traffic light and would let the car roll forward. Which is exactly what Steve advised me to do. So basically I need to go back to driving like a sleeping baby in the back.
Head over to Ageas Insurance website to watch me do the drives and listen to Steve’s advice.
It was a really interesting day and since listening to Steve, I’ve changed the way I drive.
Disclosure: I’m working on a paid partnership with Ageas Insurance, but all words, opinions and content are entirely my own.