Everyone is always looking for a way to eliminate expenses from their monthly budget. One of the ways that you can reduce your expenses is by properly managing your driving habits. Your driving habits have a direct result on your fuel economy. You can put more money in your own pocket by cutting down on your fuel consumption costs. Here are a few ways to reduce your fuel costs. The following is a guest post from Money Supermarket.
What is Hypermiling?
With the cost of fuel and car insurance rising this year, motorists may be looking at ways to off-set the increased cost.
There are a group of drivers who strive to make sure they drive in the most economical and efficient way possible. They even go to extreme measures to squeeze every last mile they can out of their gas tank.
They are known as, and refer to themselves as ‘hypermilers’.
The hypermiling community investigates and shares methods of driving which conserve fuel, in an attempt to exceed the manufacturer’s stated efficiency of their cars and to combat the rising cost of motoring.
Some of the methods they employ include:
- Removing excess weight from the vehicle
- Minimising drag by keeping windows closed
- Wearing lighter shoes to allow better sensitivity on the pedals.
These three methods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hypermiling, with its followers striving to come up with new ways to save money all the time.
The origins of hypermiling can be traced back to hybrid vehicle clubs, who would compare the fuel efficiency of their engines. The term, itself is said to have been coined Wayne Gerdes, known as the ‘Father of Hypermiling’, who holds the title of World’s Most Fuel Efficient Driver.
Does it work?
It takes a big change of mentality in the way you drive, but some hypermilers claim that the methods they use make their cars as much as 60 percent more fuel-efficient.
How do I do it?
According to the community, the first thing you need to do is to work out your current miles-per-gallon (MPG).
You can measure you MPG using online tools and your car’s odometer, or you can buy specialist equipment to do the job for you.
Once you know what your current MPG is, you can start using some hypermiling methods to see if you can improve it.
Some Hypermiling methods
- ‘Coasting and burning’: This means taking your foot off the accelerator as you approach a junction which you know you will have to either stop at or slow down for. Coasting and burning minimises the need for braking and makes full use of the car’s forward momentum.
- Slipstreaming: Also known in the racing world as drafting, this involves following in the slipstream of the vehicle in front of you. This makes your car more fuel efficient as there is reduced wind-resistance. Of course this could be dangerous, so hypermilers encourage its followers to follow the ‘two-second rule’.
- Parking in the sun: Hypermilers try to park in direct sunlight to avoid the windshield freezing up, and consequently the need to leave the engine running to defrost it.
- Strategic parking: Parking in a spot where you are able to make a forwards entry and exit does away with an unnecessary reverse manoeuvre.
- Switching off: Turning off the engine at times when the vehicle is stationary, such as in traffic jams, traffic lights and at level-crossings.
You don’t have to go to these extremes
Most of us don’t have the time or inclination to join the hypermilers, but you can make sure you are motoring for as cheaply as possible by car-sharing with a colleague and making sure your tires are always properly inflated to save on fuel, and using price-comparison sites like moneysupermarket.com and go compare to get the best deal on your insurance.
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