Hard-up drivers desperate to save money on fuel – but have no idea what they pay for it

Enthusiasm about cutting costs loses out to love of speed, research finds

Hard-up English motorists are desperate to save money on fuel – but don’t even know how much it costs, a survey released today has found.

Research for the Energy Saving Trust’s Fuel Your Passion campaign found almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of drivers do not know the average price of a liter of unleaded – but nine in ten admit shopping around to find cheaper fuel.

In addition, 80 per cent of car owners say they know following simple smarter driving tips could save them money – but a stubborn 51 per cent REFUSE to follow those tips because they are too set in their ways.

The three-month Fuel Your Passion campaign aims to inspire drivers to save money behind the wheel by driving more efficiently.

An online app produced by the Energy Saving Trust for the campaign shows drivers how much they could save by following a series of simple tips, and is available on their website here http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Travel/Fuel-your-passion.

Energy Saving Trust Senior Knowledge Manager – Transport, Tim Anderson, said: “Drivers are so keen to save money on fuel that they’re happy to spend time trying to find the cheapest petrol station – but don’t want to follow simple tips which could save them around £270 a year.

“It’s not hard to see why many people don’t know the actual price of unleaded with prices rising so quickly. The Energy Saving Trust is here to show you how the impact of those rises can be reduced. Our new online Fuel Your Passion app shows how much money drivers could save by following smarter driving tips – and what they could spend that cash on.

“A little bit of knowledge goes a long way, and tips like properly inflating tyres and driving more smoothly can make a real difference at the pumps, which is important when times are so hard.

“Energy Saving Trust advisors are on hand to answer any questions drivers have – they can be contacted through our Transport Advice Line on 0845 602 1425.”

The Fuel Your Passion campaign was launched last month with new findings which showed inefficient driving costs English motorists almost £7bn in wasted fuel every year. The research found drivers could save an average of £270 each – or 20p of every liter spent on petrol and diesel – by simply following a range of simple smarter driving tips.

Now, the specially-commissioned Ipsos MORI survey, of 1,749 English motorists, has found men were less keen to change their driving habits to help save fuel than women, with 65 per cent of male respondents saying they “like driving how they want to drive”, “don’t like being told what to do” or simply “like driving fast”. In comparison, only 45 per cent of female motorists said they wouldn’t change the way they drive to save fuel.

The survey also highlighted drivers’ misconceptions about ways to cut their fuel spend – with some tips making no difference at all, or even costing them money. Amazingly, 14 per cent of those questioned wrongly believe only driving at weekends would make their car more fuel efficient, and only five per cent of motorists stuck to the speed limit on motorways even though driving at 85mph uses around 25 per cent more petrol than driving at 70mph.

In fact, following these smarter driving tips can make a real difference to a car’s running costs:

· Drive smoothly – avoid heavy acceleration and braking.

· Slow down – travelling at 70mph instead of 85mph on the motorway can save around £20 a year.

· Shift up gears early, between 2,000 and 2,500rpm.

· Keep tyres correctly inflated – could save around £31 a year

· Turn air conditioning off – could save around £77 a year.

· Turn off your engine if you expect to be stopped for more than a minute.

· Remove roof racks and roof boxes to cut drag – could save around £3 a year.

· Avoid carrying dead weight – remove unnecessary clutter from your car.

Anyone wanting to see how much smarter driving could save them should check out the Energy Saving Trust’s website at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Travel/Fuel-your-passion or call the Transport Advice Line on 0845 602 1425.

Energy Saving Trust (EST) gives impartial, accurate and independent advice to communities and households on how to reduce carbon emissions, how to use water more sustainably and how to save money on energy bills.

EST provides impartial advice to fleets to help them reduce fuel use and improve efficiency with benefits to both fleet finances and the environment. Many of the Energy Saving Trust’s transport advice services are subsidised by the Department for Transport.

EST works in partnership with government, local authorities, third sector organisations and businesses. EST’s activities include:

· delivering or managing government programmes

· testing low-carbon technology

· certification and assurance for businesses and consumer goods

· developing models and tools

The Energy Saving Trust is a social enterprise with charitable status.

The Energy Saving Trust was formed in 1992.

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