Top 10 ways to conserve fuel on an old car


Prices at the petrol pump are soaring, so it makes sense to do what you can to stretch your car’s fuel for longer. Here are our top tips for lengthening the gaps between fills for older cars with older economic technology, however also helpful for newer vehicles.


  1. Take it easy on the accelerator. Driving economically means maintaining a steady speed on the road. Older cars don’t have cruise control but you should be able to accelerate nice and steadily without the need to floor it. You are not in the case and you will be going the same speed as other cars on the road. Please don’t go over the limit!
  2. Stay out of traffic jams. Try to avoid peak traffic times if you can – just an extra 15 minutes earlier or later could save you big bucks at the bowser if you don’t have to idle the engine while waiting for the traffic to move (including while you wait at the Drive-Thru). And – don’t forget – you’ll also have a more tranquil ride to boot.
  3. Don’t overwork the gearbox. Change gears smoothly and surely – don’t over-rev the engine. Turn on your car’s economy mode – if you have one – it will make the transmission shift up sooner
  4. Avoid bad weather. Did you know that rain and wind can impact your fuel consumption, too? The wet increases the rolling resistance of your tyres, and you'll also use more auxiliary, power-draining features like lights and wipers. A wild and windy day can drag aerodynamically on your car, while super hot scorchers put a strain on your engine, radiator, tyres and air conditioning. When it’s nasty out, think about other modes of transport or wait until the weather’s passed.
  5. Turn off the aircon. In a similar vein, being frugal with your air conditioning also reduces drag on your engine, so if it’s a mild day, roll down the windows instead or use the ventilation system.
  6. Service your car regularly. A well-serviced car helps keep your running costs down, in the long run, ensuring it's achieving optimal fuel efficiency. Get your engine tuned, oil and filters changed and make sure the fuel system is in tip-top condition.
  7. Take note of your tyres. Inflating your tyres a little higher than your manufacturer recommends helps maintain fuel economy, with the bonus you’ll also enjoy longer lasting tyres. Similarly, correct wheel alignment reduces drag and resistance, which increases how much your car guzzles petrol.
  8. Ditch the weight. No, we're not talking about you! Get rid of anything you don't absolutely need in the car for the trip at hand – all that extra weight in the boot and the back seat can add dollars to your fuel bill. The lighter your car, the less the drag and the more you save.
  9. Plan ahead. Look ahead to what you have to do in a day and try to combine trips wherever possible. Do the school run, go to the gym, get a coffee and do the shopping on the one trip and you'll shave big dollars off your weekly petrol costs.
  10. Take a walk. Obviously, the best way to save on fuel costs is to ditch the car and walk, cycle or take public transport. You could even carpool with your friends or workmates, so all of you save. Plus you get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing you’ve saved some much-needed resources.