Petrol shortage: Nine ways to make your fuel go further on your Easter travels

Petrol protesters slammed by Mike Parry

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Fuel shortages have left drivers unable to get petrol and diesel over the weekend, following a string of climate protests in some parts of the country. Now on their 12th consecutive day of demonstrations, Extinction Rebellion activists have pledged to continue until Government action is taken, with drivers being warned of further disruption over the Easter weekend. Empty pumps could leave Britons unable to fill-up on their travels during the break, so how can you make what fuel you do have last even longer? Express.co.uk reveals the best ways to maximise your mileage.

Drivers are being forced to contend with soaring fuel prices and nationwide shortages, leaving millions of Britons looking for ways to make the most of a full tank.

While driving less is one way to preserve your petrol or diesel reserves, there are plenty of other ways to make your fuel go further on your travels.

Making your vehicle more efficient is the key to avoiding long queues or being fooled by empty pumps, and it can be done in just nine easy steps.

Remove excess weight from the car

Luggage for your Easter getaway will add a significant amount of weight to your car, so it’s crucial that you remove any unnecessary items to free up some space for the extra kilograms you’re adding on.

Removing heavy items from the boot or roof of your vehicle is the easiest way to lighten the load while reducing the “drag” effect as you drive.

The Energy Saving Trust found that an empty roof rack adds 16 percent drag when driving at 75mph, which is far less fuel efficient than cars that have an empty roof.

Check your tyre pressure

Tyres are key to running an efficient vehicle, which is why you should check the pressure regularly in order to keep them properly inflated.

Your vehicle’s recommended tyre pressure can typically be found on a sticker inside the driver’s door, though it should also be listed in the owner’s manual.

Drive slower

According to world record holding hyper-miler Kevin Booker, driving fractionally slower is actually more efficient than driving at higher speeds.

He claims that while the overall journey time will be roughly the same, you’ll save a significant amount of fuel in the process.

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Travel at off-peak times

Crawling in traffic is one of the least efficient ways to drive, wasting precious fuel while cutting into your journey time.

Travelling at peak times is even more concerning while you’re low on petrol, as it could leave you unable to access a well-stocked forecourt before your vehicle falls flat.

If you have a long journey ahead, try to avoid congestion by travelling outside of the rush hour (7am-10am and 4pm to 7pm).

Keep your windows up

Small bursts of fresh air will make your car drive further while using less fuel than if you leave your windows down for the whole journey.

This works by reducing the drag effect on the car, making it more efficient while on the road.

Switch air conditioning off

Air conditioning can drain your petrol supply more than you may realise, so keep it turned off to avoid extra trips to fill up your tank.

Drive carefully

A smoother journey with no sudden braking and a steady acceleration speed is one of the best ways to drive on a low tank, according to Tim Allock from LeaseCar.UK.

He said: “Behaviours such as acceleration and braking times are good things to keep an eye on in order to conserve fuel.”

Make sure you take your foot off the accelerator when approaching a red light and get into the habit of rolling to a stop.

Avoid unnecessary idling

Most modern cars have become much more fuel-efficient, so it’s better to switch your engine off and restart it rather than sitting idling in traffic.

Drive in a higher gear

The RAC also suggests that drivers use the highest gear possible within the speed limit to increase the efficiency of their petrol usage.

Moving up a gear while at a lower speed is easy to do, so try to move to 4th gear at 30mph, 5th gear at 40mph and so on.

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