As a delivery driver, gas is probably your biggest working expense. And you’ll be well aware that throughout your shift, the needle on your fuel gauge is only headed in one direction. You definitely want to make sure you know how to save gas while driving, and get the most bang for your buck.
Luckily, there are many ways to save gas and make that tank go a little further. If you take these simple tips for saving gas, you’ll be going further for less, every day.
Get your car serviced regularly
One of the best tips for saving gas is to maintain your vehicle. Be sure to get your car serviced each year, and maintain it between services. A well-maintained car can use 10-20% less fuel than one that isn’t serviced. Those are some big savings on gas, and will be well worth it in the long run.
There are other benefits to getting your car serviced. Problems which are identified early on will often be easier and cheaper to fix. Plus, if you keep your car looked after, it will be worth more when it comes time to sell it. Your car’s service record will also be important if you ever need to claim a warranty on the vehicle.
There’s no need to be speeding around town like Michael Schumacher when you’re making deliveries. The speed at which you drive has a big impact on your fuel efficiency as your drive.
The AA has stated that dropping from 80mph to 70mph could save 25% in gas. On smaller roads, the difference between 70mph and 60mph could save a further 10%. These are some major savings!
As you drive, make sure that you take note of the road ahead. Look out for other drivers and hazards and do what you can to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. If you are careful to know what’s coming up, you’ll be able to brake early and easily.
For instance, if you’re in heavy traffic, don’t drive right behind the car in front of you. Not only will this stress out the driver in front, but it will also lead to sudden stops. Avoiding stopping and starting the car too abruptly is one of the best tips for saving fuel.
Saving fuel isn’t all about driving slowly. Of course you’re busy – you’ve got deliveries to make and places to go! However, you can save fuel while driving by making sure you drive as smoothly as possible.
Starting and stopping slowly and gracefully is one of the best ways to save gas. Remember to be careful on corners and glide around them, rather than braking in and accelerating out.
If your car is an automatic, allow the transmission to change early by accelerating on a light throttle. If the car is a manual, change gear early – but be sure not to labor the engine.
Another great strategy for driving smoothly is changing how you drive on hills. Build up your speed as you come up to the bottom of an incline. As you reach the top, slowly take your foot off the accelerator. You can use the existing momentum to push you over the top of the hill and coast down the other side. If you live somewhere with uneven terrain, you could shave hundreds off your annual fuel bill with this easy tip for saving fuel.
Not only does driving smoothly benefit your gas tank, but it’s also better for your packages. You don’t want your deliveries, which may be fragile, to get thrown around the car. Of course, your customers will be much happier if you deliver their items intact!
Look after your tyres
A full service is important, but one of the most crucial aspects for how to save fuel while driving is caring for your car’s tyres.
Tyres that are under pressure will increase your car’s drag. This will have an impact on your fuel consumption. Studies suggest that for each 1% decrease in tyre pressure, the car will be 0.3% less fuel efficient.
Have a look at your car’s manual for the recommended tyre pressures. Every couple of weeks, make sure the pressure is right. If they’re over or under the recommended pressure, they will wear unevenly and you’ll need to replace the whole tyre sooner. This can be a total pain and an unwanted expense.
Not only will keeping your tyres in check save you money on gas, but it will also keep your car safe to drive in all weather conditions. Tyres in bad condition are more prone to punctures which can be a major inconvenience when you have deliveries to make. Plus, if you lose traction in bad weather, you could cause a crash.
Reduce weight where you can
Sure, this is easier said than done. You’re a delivery driver and your car is loaded up with packages! But, the heavier a vehicle is, the harder the engine has to work, and the more gas it will go through.
Before starting your delivery driving shift, try to take any heavy personal items out of your car. Boxes of old household goods you’ve been meaning to take to the charity shop for weeks? Make sure you drop those off before you start the route.
You likely plan your deliveries on a geographical basis. However, if you have some really big and heavy packages taking up space and weighing down your vehicle, it might be wise to get those deliveries done sooner rather than later.
Consider driving a manual
According to the AA, automatics use 10% to 15% more gas than manuals. This is particularly true when you’re driving around cities, in traffic, stopping and starting often. There’s little difference between transmission styles on motorways.
With delivery driving being your job, you might find the difference in fuel efficiency to be worth it. However, if you only have access to an automatic car, don’t worry too much. As automatics are becoming popular, modern models are more fuel efficient than ever before.
It’s easier than you think to save on gas
You might think how much gas you go through comes down to the make of your car. However, you’ll be surprised by how much maintaining the car and driving tactically can influence your fuel gauge. Try tracking how much you spend on gas each week, and seeing if these tips make a difference to your consumption.