10 thrifty motoring tips to help drivers save hundreds of pounds a year

DRIVERS are being hit hard at the pumps, with fuel prices reaching record highs. This week the AA revealed the average price for petrol has topped 148p per litre for the first time. And the cost of diesel soared to 151.57p per litre. 
4Our ten tips will help you put the brakes on motoring costs hitting driversCredit: Shutterstock
That means the cost of filling up a family car’s tank is now more than £80, up from £59 in May 2020 at the height of lockdown.
With people already facing a cost-of-living squeeze, drivers need to slash their spending to keep their wheels on the road.
Follow Simon Read’s thrifty motoring tips to save hundreds of pounds a year.
Get cheaper fuel
DO not simply fill up at your nearest petrol station. Find a local one with the best prices.
Rod Dennis, of the RAC, says: “Get to know the fuel retailers near you and look beyond the supermarkets. Some independent retailers can be cost-competitive too. Taking a small detour to a cheaper forecourt can save you a few pence per litre. Over 12 months’ motoring, that could be a sizeable saving.”
The average driver uses 880 litres a year, so a 5p saving per litre could add up to £41.
Don’t travel too far. The further you drive, the more petrol you use, wiping out any savings. 
SAVE: £41 a year
Make car economical
 THERE are a number of things you can do to make your motor more economical to drive, according to Alex Kindred of comparison site confused.com.
He says: “Remove excess weight from your car. 
“Empty the boot of items you don’t need and take out bike racks to make your car lighter.”
And don’t leave the engine idling when the vehicle is stationary.
Alex added: “You’ll burn less fuel if you just turn off your engine.”
SAVE: £50 a year
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Use petrol price app
4Apps and websites can help drivers find the best prices for fuelCredit: Shutterstock
USE apps and websites such as PetrolPrices, Waze and the AA app to find the best prices.
Ru Roberts, of driving directions app Waze, says: “Users can search for fuel stations along their route and filter by distance, price or brand. 
“We can also help motorists avoid the forecourts with the most traffic around them, so drivers don’t need to make unnecessary extra journeys.”
PetrolPrices reckons users can save £225 a year by using its app.
SAVE: £225 a year
Drive sensibly
ADJUST the way you drive to reduce the amount of fuel you use.
Rod Dennis, of the RAC, says: “Avoid heavy accelerating and braking, which consume more fuel than if you are driving more fluidly.”
Drivers who pre-empt hazards and maintain momentum also save money. 
The more effectively you can anticipate how traffic conditions are changing ahead of you, the less braking and accelerating you …