One of the reasons why some travelers decide to do without renting a vehicle during their holidays has to do with the available budget. Although choosing affordable rental cars helps reduce the final bill, there is also another variable in this equation: fuel. Luckily, there are tricks to save on petrol while driving, which will help you enjoy a well-deserved rest without being concerned about cash.
Of course, these savings tips are also valid if you choose a diesel rental vehicle, although the price of fuel in this case is cheaper. Take note!
- Plan your road trip well
Although some believe it is unnecessary to insist on this aspect, experience tells us that many drivers end up falling into the same error: relying on GPS too much and not studying the route before getting behind the wheel. It is clear that new technologies make our lives easier, but they are not infallible (without going any further, they do not always reflect possible changes in traffic routes due to roadworks). Therefore, consulting the route and possible alternatives in advance will help you reach your destination in the fastest, safest and easiest way, thus reducing the risk of taking a longer route than necessary. And although you will probably keep it in mind, we must not lose sight of the fact that the shortest route is not always the one with the lowest fuel consumption, since other factors are also involved: layout, slope, urban areas, etc.
- Avoid driving on a low tank
We know that the only concern during your next getaway should be to fully enjoy the chosen destination. Now, minimal planning is essential to avoid shocks: for example, having to make use of the whole fuel supply because there are no gas stations on the way. This is not only risky for obvious reasons – definitely, it is not to anybody’s taste to run out of gas several kilometers from the nearest town – it will also increase your fuel consumption. Why? Simply because of the greater presence of air in the tank, which increases the evaporation of gasoline. In addition, when the amount of gasoline is low, the pump sucks more dirt that accumulates in the bottom.
- When refueling, follow this little trick to consume less fuel
When filling the tank, do so by applying medium pressure to the hose trigger. It is important to avoid pressing as much as possible, as this will generate more gases, which will increase the evaporation of the fuel. When you finish, without pressing the button, turn the nozzle so that the accumulated gasoline or diesel drops in. Although this is not the measure that will provide you with more savings, it all adds up (a grain does not make a barn, but it helps, as our grandmothers would say).
- Check the tire pressure
Driving with wheels that have the right amount of air is not only an essential safety precaution: it is also a matter of savings. If the tires have not been properly inflated, this will increase friction on the tarmac. Therefore, the engine will need to make a greater effort to overcome this resistance, which can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. In fact, driving with a pressure of 0.5 bar lower than recommended reduces fuel efficiency between 2% and 4% in urban and suburban areas, respectively. Although it is a rental car – for example, if you choose our rent-a-car service in Majorca, the ROIG team will ensure that your vehicle is in perfect condition when we deliver it to you – it is worth checking If the wheels are inflated correctly before starting up.
- Avoid excess baggage
In this case, less is more too. Being cautious and being prepared for mishaps is a virtue, no doubt, but we must not overdo it. By carrying only what is necessary for your road trips around Majorca in your rental car – or wherever you want -, you will also save money on fuel consumption. To do this, leave all your luggage in the hotel or apartment where you are staying and, if you are not thinking about going on a cycling route, disassemble the roof rack, the bike rack and everything you do not need on your excursions. Thus, your vehicle will be much more aerodynamic, which will help your last refueling cover you much more. Here’s a fact: transporting an unnecessary weight of 100 kilos will increase gasoline consumption by 6%.
- Start the car correctly
When starting, start the engine without stepping on the accelerator. If your car is gasoline, you can put your gear in right after starting. However, if your car is diesel, you should wait a few seconds. On the other hand, we recommend using the first gear only at the beginning. Then, change to second after two seconds or once you have traveled around 6 m.
- Pay attention to speed
Another trick to save money on fuel is to drive at an optimal speed. Although there may be differences depending on the land and the car model, the greater efficiency in the consumption of gasoline – that is, the best ratio between fuel consumption and the distance traveled – is achieved by driving at 100 km / h. Anything that exceeds this figure will result in excessive fuel consumption to try to scratch a little more speed. In fact, driving at an additional 20 km / h can increase fuel consumption by around 45%. In addition, you will not have to be suffering in case any radar has surprised you when you stepped on the accelerator more than you should have.
- Try to drive at a constant speed
We are all aware that fuel consumption increases when driving through the city. The reason? Stops, acceleration or braking. Therefore, when driving on the road, try to adopt the most uniform speed possible and, whenever you have to stop, step on the brake gently. We assure you that the deposit of your car will thank you. If you drive at more than 20 km / h without changing gears and without stepping on the accelerator, the fuel consumption will be very low. On the contrary, if the car is idling – that is, with the minimum revolutions per minute to which the engine fits – the tank will decrease by 0.5 or 0.7 liters per hour.
It is also advisable to circulate with the longest relationships and at low revolutions most of the time. In the city, try to aim for the fourth or fifth gear, always within the speed limits.
Keep the safety distance, as this will reduce the possibility of having to brake suddenly, which also consumes more fuel. You can also take advantage of the inertia of the descents to advance the change of gears leading to low revolutions.
- Turn off the engine if you are going to make a long stop
Having an engine idling for 10 minutes, in neutral and with the air conditioning off, consumes 0.13 liters of gasoline at 100 km.
- Park in the shade
Although we love driving, there is an instant that gives any driver goosebumps: to get back into the car after having left it parked in the sun. Hence, whenever possible, try to leave it in the shade. In this way, not only will you avoid that unpleasant feeling of drowning that we all recall when you sit down again, but you won’t have to start the air conditioner so that the inside stops being a small oven either. And not only that: the lower the room temperature, the lower the evaporation of fuel in the tank.
What do you think of these tips to save money on fuel when driving on your holidays? If you have other tricks to lower the fuel bill, do not hesitate to share them with us.