Track your Usage

Tracking your fuel economy allows you to maintain an awareness of what works and what doesn't. It's also invaluable in identifying when your vehicle requires maintenance, for example if your economy drops dramatically with no change in driving conditions/style then it may be that your air filter needs replacing.

It's on this basis that the VehMan API was created, the Fuel Economy readouts on many vehicles are useful but only ever give a snapshot of a specific point in time. By recording the data properly, you can maintain a historic overview of how your vehicle performs at different times of the year, and whether there's been a gradual change in economy.

To keep track of the economy, simply make a note whenever you fill your tank, at a very basic level, you only need to record the following

  • Litres purchased
  • Tank filled?
  • Mileage (main odometer reading)

It's usually helpful to record the Price per Litre, Garage and date as well though!

Do the Maths

Most garages carry 'Premium' fuels which promise better fuel economy. Without doubt, they generally provide additional mileage per gallon, but it's not necessarily saving you money.

If your vehicle will run on the standard, it's often cheaper per mile, even if your MPG appears to be worse. So do the maths, calculate the mileage you get per gallon and then divide by the cost to see which works best for you.

Similarly, try fuel from different Garages and find which works best with your vehicle.

Note: You should, however, try both types for around a month each. You'll unconsciously change your driving behaviour each time you change fuel, which will skew your figures if you don't allow time for things to normalise.

Shed Extra Weight

Don't carry un-needed items with you. Every extra kilogram of weight increases the fuel used when accelerating (as you're moving a greater mass).

Maintain your Vehicle

The manufacturer's routine maintenance isn't specified for fun, it has a number of benefits, but the primary motivation is to keep your vehicle running right. Your vehicle is more fuel efficient when it's running as it should be, and using good quality oil and lubes can realise some additional savings on top of this.