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The men and women driving 40% further for the same amount of petrol

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With petrol and diesel prices hitting all time highs in the UK, we’ve tracked down some of the people who are managing to almost double the distance they can drive on a full tank to share their secrets.
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And as well as ways to make your fuel take you further, we’ve also rounded up some of the best ways to pay less per litre to let you get as much bang for your buck as possible.

“It’s like a video game” - how hypermiling lets you go further for less

Hypermiling is a relatively straightforward idea - "driving to achieve maximum fuel economy". But the tricks people have found really add up.

Hypermilers aim to beat the maximum mpg quoted by manufacturers. This reduces fuel usage, saves money and helps the environment, and they get cleverer and cleverer in how they achieve it.

Tim Fulton, a hypermiler from Winsconsin, regularly achieves 55mpg from his vehicle despite a manufacturer quoted range of 29mpg. He told Wired:

"It's like a videogame. Can I beat my new high score?"

"If you combine a handful of simple hypermiling techniques, you can easily see increases of 20%, use a few more techniques, and 30% is yours."

First the basics - keep your rev-count low, upshifting to a higher gear as soon as possible, use less heating, air conditioning, stereos and don’t drive too fast. Oh, and ditch roof racks and the like to increase your car’s aerodynamics.

Hypermiling goes further than this, though with pre-planning and clever tactics to get the most from their tank every journey. 

More advanced techniques need to be applied carefully. Some advocates advise people to coast with the engine off or in neutral, or sit in the slipstream of lorries on motorways to save fuel - it might work for some, but it could also be incredibly dangerous too and both are probably best avoided.

Tip to driving more efficiently

The most significant way to save on your fuel is to change the way you drive. This is what hypermilers do, but you can practice it in a less extreme way.

1. Ensure the car is well maintained

A regularly serviced car will be more efficient. This means to get the best mpg, you should ensure you keep on top of the servicing and maintenance schedule. Tyres are another essential factor that reduce mpg. Ensure they are well maintained and at the correct, manufacturer stated tyre pressure on each corner for best results.

2. Maintain momentum

To maximise a car's efficiency, momentum should be maintained. This is simple; just use the brakes and accelerator less. Excessive braking and speeding use more fuel.

3. Less is more

One of the simplest ways to conserve fuel is to use less. By reducing the weight in the vehicle, less fuel is required. Basically, don't carry anything unnecessary in the boot. More fuel can be conserved by using things like the air-con and heating system, windscreen defrosters sparingly. And keep the windows up at speeds above 40mph, as lowering them can increase drag.

4. Use the best gear

Driving in the highest gear possible sounds like it uses less fuel, right until you hit the accelerator. So when going uphill or downhill, it is best to do this in the gear that means the least pressure on the gas pedal.

5. Take the scenic route

Finally, when there's an option, take the scenic route! Driving on rural roads uses much less fuel than driving in urban areas as there will be less stopping/starting required.

Remember, 60 is the magic number when it comes to driving efficiently, so a route that lets you got at near that speed for as long as possible can be more efficient than a shorter one through built-up areas.

Fuel Cashback Offers

Another way to save money on fuel is to shop around for fuel cashback offers. There are credit cards on the market, such as the Santander 123 credit card, that offer 3% cash back at major petrol stations. Compare cashback cards here

Tesco's Clubcard offers 5 points per £4 spent on their fuel also, which can help you earn Clubcard vouchers to spend in-store on your shopping. 

Apps

There are websites available such as PetrolPrices.com and mobile apps to compare the prices of fuel near you. These are updated by the stores and by customers and are generally reasonably up to date. 

Jordan Cox, aka Britain's Coupon Kid, uses this method alongside reward schemes to save money every time he fills up. He says:

"Hopefully, this will help you make sure you're always getting the best price for your fuel, no matter what you fill up with.

"Of course, if you can combine using this tool along with reward schemes from the big brands – it will amplify your savings even more."

Every now and again, supermarkets run offers such as save 10p per litre of fuel when you spend £60 instore. By keeping up to date with these offers, you can switch supermarkets and save big. 

Generally, preparation and a little thought are the keys to achieving the maximum mpg from your car. There's no point travelling out of your way to get the cheapest fuel as you're covering more miles. Instead, plan journeys and if you will be passing a cheaper station, fill up while you are there. Use petrol pump price checkers to shop around and find out when supermarkets will be offering discounts for spending in-store and shop there. 

The biggest savings can be made with driving style and a well-maintained vehicle. Keeping to the speed limit, accelerating, and braking less by anticipating the road ahead and using the correct gears all make little differences that add up to bigger savings. 

About James Andrews 

James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC

View James Andrews’ full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.

About James Andrews

View James Andrews's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.