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Hard-up motorists desperate to save fuel

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Motorists are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to save fuel, according to Saga Motor Insurance.

With petrol and diesel prices rising 20% in the past 12 months and the credit crunch forcing a tightening of belts, over 90% of drivers are taking steps to reduce the cost of motoring.

However the study shows that, in their desperation, drivers’ fuel saving efforts may be misguided. One in six motorists incorrectly think that spreading the weight in the car, by making passengers sit in the back will reduce fuel consumption.

Another 10% think that filling up in the morning when petrol is cold will help and a desperate 6% of drivers hope that switching off the radio, or even changing the music they listen to, will save cash at the pumps.

Sensibly, the majority of drivers are adopting more traditional methods of reducing petrol consumption such as switching off air-conditioning, removing the roof rack and closing windows. However, it is not just rising petrol and diesel costs that are hitting motorists.

With the proposed increases in car tax planned for 2009/10 and rising fuel costs, drivers are already considering cutbacks. Almost three quarters of motorists are simply planning on driving less, walking or taking public transport to reduce fuel consumption. Over a fifth would consider changing their vehicle for a more cost efficient make or model and 5% may resort to car sharing.

Andrew Goodsell, chief executive of Saga Group, said: “It’s quite clear that people are feeling the financial strain every time they fill up their vehicle. By taking on board a few simple tips, they can dramatically cut their fuel bills.”

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