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Hypermiling: Top Tips

Last week we looked at the basics of hypermiling, the driving technique that is supposed to be able to chop nearly 40% off our fuel bills. This week we will talk in more detail about top tips to help you to maximise your fuel economy.

Getting to know your vehicle

Successful hypermiling is about you understanding your vehicle and giving it the best possible opportunity to achieve efficiency.

Tracking your MPG can help you to see how effective your efforts are and if you can see results, you are more likely to persevere with your mileage where possible - there are even MPG calculator apps that you can download onto your phone to make it easier.

Safety first

When taken in isolation and performed without due care and attention, some of the hypermiling techniques mentioned previously can be potentially dangerous. It is essential that you put safety first and consider other road users. Don’t be tempted to focus so much on your fuel gauge that you forget to watch the road.

Lose weight

More weight = more energy to move so anything you can do to reduce your overall weight will help you to improve your MPG. This includes emptying your boot of any weight that you don’t need for a specific trip.

Reduce drag

Anything that causes drag will make your vehicle work harder. Keep your windows up where possible, remove top boxes unless they are in use (this will help to keep the weight down, too), and remove bike racks and roof racks to help make your vehicle as streamlined as possible.

Pump it up

Getting your tyre pressure right can help to keep your car at optimal efficiency. If you are unsure what your pressure should be, check your handbook or ask your local mechanic to check for you.

Plan your route

Ever been in a taxi and they go the “slow” way home? This is because good taxi firms have to use the shortest (therefore cheapest) route rather than one that may be quicker but cost you more. Online maps will help you to determine which way is shorter – but not necessarily quicker. However, it is also important to get a balance – the point of hypermiling is to drive as smoothly as possible, without lots of stopping and starting. If in doubt about a regular route, track your mileage and MPG for both and compare results.

Take it easy

If you do one thing to save fuel, then SLOW DOWN! By dropping your speed by 20mph you could reduce your MPG by a massive 45%. Of course, you need to be aware of safety implications and other road users (you won’t make friends driving 10mph everywhere or going 30 in a 60 zone). But by taking things a little easier when it is safe and responsible to do so, you could see a dramatic rise in your fuel efficiency.

Maintain your vehicle

A well-maintained vehicle is a more efficient vehicle. Get yours regularly serviced to get the best from it. Are you a fan of hypermiling? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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