UK motorists are wasting £700 million a year owing to bad driving habits: Report

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UK motorists are losing as much as £700 million a year more in petrol owing to bad driving habits, a new study has found.

A new research from Barclaycard Fuel+ has revealed that non-efficient driving techniques such as driving in the wrong gear or accelerating unnecessarily results in massive 636 million litres of petrol being wasted every year.

The research has found that younger drivers are most efficient behind the wheel, with nine out of ten 17-24-year-olds making a conscious effort to cut down on petrol consumption, while over half of those aged over 65 admit they resort to techniques that may save more fuel. Experts claim that an average driver can save up to £84 a year by driving more economically.

The report noted that the most common ‘fuel wasting habit’ practiced by UK motorists is not using the handbrake to stabilize the vehicle. Keeping the engine running unnecessarily for long periods of time is the second worst habit, followed by unnecessary use of air cons.

The survey of 2,000 drivers revealed that more than half of them do not stick to the speeding limits and a similar number would take the car to travel somewhere just a mile away rather than walk. Londoners were found be the most eco-friendly, with drivers willing to walk two miles before using their vehicle, followed by Scottish and Yorkshire drivers who would prefer to walk up to 1.9 miles rather than get into the car.

Commenting on the research results, John Bostock, Account Development Director at Barclaycard, said “With such a huge amount of money wasted on fuel, we would benefit massively as a nation if we were more mindful when it comes to driving in a more eco-friendly way.

“We keep a close eye on our grocery spending, so shouldn’t we do the same here when it’s apparent how much we could save just by driving more efficently?”

Sarah Sillars, chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists added “If everyone was to maintain eco-driving as part of a driving style over the longer term, fuel savings would be around 10%.

“People could benefit from driving in a more ecological and efficient way and find the experience reduces the wear and tear on their vehicle, making driving a much safer prospect.”

Here’s the top ten ways to cut vehicle fuel consumption-

1. Use the handbrake when waiting at traffic lights and in traffic jams, rather than using the clutch and accelerator.
2. Plan your journey and use the most fuel-effective route.
3. Switch off air conditioning or heating unless you really need it.
4. Make sure you use the right gear.
5. Remove roof racks and roof boxes when they aren’t needed.
6. Check tyre pressures.
7. Try to keep the sun roof and windows closed.
8. Use cruise control whenever possible.
9. Don’t accelerate up to lights or traffic when you know you have to brake.
10. Drive along roads with speed bumps smoothly to avoid unnecessary acceleration and declaration.