There is an adage used by road trip affianados; the journey is often more remarkable than the destination. To truly touch the essence of a country and its land, you first have to find its foundation with four wheels. And preferably with the windows rolled down, Willie Nelson narrating, and the passenger seat engaged for conversation and companionship.
Such idyllic road trips ready made for Great American fiction can, however, be an expensive affair. Your engine won’t run on the good will of the open road alone. And with that in mind, here are 6 IDEAL fuel saving driving tips for your next road trip.
USE A DIESEL VEHICLE IF YOU’RE CARRYING A HEAVY LOAD
The debate as to whether diesel is a greener alternative to petrol is ongoing. But what is generally accepted is that diesel vehicles are more fuel efficient than their petrol counterparts. Higher efficiency means that in your diesel vehicle, you’ll be able to cover a longer distance per tank of fuel than you would when driving a petrol vehicle. At a cost, of course.
But diesel vehicles have another advantage in that they perform better when heavily loaded; on a road trip it’s safe to assume you’ll either be towing a trailer or packing a fair load of luggage. Higher fuel efficiency when the car is weighed down makes sense.
PLAN FUEL STOPS CAREFULLY
We all know that fuel prices fluctuate from station to station, with some selling fuel at lower prices than others. If you research fuel prices in the filling stations along your route, which is possible via various apps, you may be able to curate your stops to ensure better prices along the way.
MAINTAIN THE CORRECT TYRE PRESSURE
Tyre pressure isn’t exactly a topic which sets the pulse racing. Sometimes though, the most mundane subject matter is the one which requires the most thorough attention. Maintaining the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle will help maintain correct fuel economy, so it’s definitely worth a little space on your prep list. While the saving may be small over short distances, the cost is accumulative, so over long distances, you’ll notice the difference.
CHOOSE A MORE FUEL-EFFICIENT VEHICLE
Though we’re certainly not saying you should rush through the purchase of a new car just so you can save a little on fuel on your impromptu jaunt, a little foresight in the long run, so you can make an informed decision on your next buy, is definitely a good thing.
Whether you decide to use a diesel vehicle or one that runs on petrol, there will always be vehicles that are more fuel efficient than others. Cars with smaller engines typically use less fuel than those with bigger, but this isn’t a permanent truth, so do your research thoroughly to compare various cars, makes and models’ fuel usage.
USE AN E10 FUEL COMPATIBLE VEHICLE
Time to get technical. E10 fuel is unleaded petrol that has been blended with ethanol at a ratio of 1:9. Most of the cars built after 2000 are E10 compatible, but of course you should check if yours is before relying on it for your next road trip. E10 is more economical since 10% of it comes from organic matter which is not as expensive as petrol. What’s more, it’s generally considered better for the environment. Two birds with one fuel efficient stone, then.