Don’t we all want lower fuel bills? Here are ten driving habits that you need to break now to save fuel!

Your penchant for air conditioning. Putting up with a bit of mild discomfort might actually make you feel better in the long run, with your pocket a bit heavier. And if you must indulge, turn it off when you’ve cooled down. According to the AA, air con uses more fuel at low speeds, so think about rolling down the windows in town and only using the air con when out on the open road.

Ignoring the cruise control, or not bothering to learn how to use it. Setting the cruise control to keep the car at a constant speed, without constantly adjusting pressure to the accelerator, gives your right foot a break and also helps to eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption. Win-win all round!

Your car is your travelling workshop/office/wardrobe/garden shed or combination of all four. You need to lose some weight NOW! Ditch all the extra paraphernalia. Just keep what’s vitally important to carry – like your spare wheel of course!

Ditto, roofbox not in use but permanently perched on the top of your car? Get rid!

Tailgating. This is a bad habit that is not only dangerous, but will leave you hopping on and off the brake as you constantly react to the movements of the traffic in front. Leave a bit more space and you will be able to ease off the accelerator as you anticipate having to slow down ahead.

Always rushing and being late. Get yourself together and you won’t always be rushing and driving on the limit. On the motorway try driving at 100kmh rather than 120kmh.

Your ignorance to basic car maintenance. Get the car serviced regularly to keep it running efficiently, keep the engine topped up with oil and keep tyres inflated; underinflated tyres create more rolling resistance and use more fuel.

Idling. Whether it’s waiting for someone with the engine running, or “warming up” the car before starting out, it’s not good for your fuel economy. Your car will heat up quicker when it is in motion.

Lack of planning. If you are constantly doing short trips to run errands, the engine will never fully heat up. If you combine errands it gives your car a better chance of reaching the right temperature for optimum fuel efficiency. Even better, leave the car at home and walk for those trips that are really short. You will get fit as well as saving fuel!

Your love for the red line. Yes I know it’s nice and fun to rev the car hard through the gears and speed off into the distance but it will do you no favours at the pumps. Resist the temptation and change up a gear at an engine speed of around 2,000 rpm in a diesel car or around 2,500 rpm in a petrol car.

Caroline Kidd