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Motorway services hike fuel prices: how to keep costs down

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Motorway service stations have been raising fuel prices as Brits opt for staycations this summer because of Covid restrictions.

A tank of fuel at some service stations will set motorists back an extra £10 compared to the national average, The Daily Mail reports.

While the average cost of a litre of unleaded was 135.3p and 136.6p for diesel last week, analysis by the RAC found that average pump prices at motorway forecourts were 149.7p a litre for petrol and 153.7p for diesel.

It comes as millions of families prepare to hit the roads as the final Bank Holiday weekend of the summer approaches.

To help keep costs down, Uswitch offers the following top tips:

Keep your tyres in check

Driving with under-inflated tyres wastes almost £1bn a year on excess fuel, according to Kwik Fit research.

Always check tyre pressure when going on a long journey – check for the correct pressure in your car manual, or you can check online.

Don’t over-rev your car

If you’re taking the country route to your destination, it might be easy to over-rev your vehicle when stopping and starting continuously. But this adds excess use on your engine and wastes fuel.

Don’t let your revs per minute run too high (2,500 for petrol and 2,000 for diesel as a rule of thumb)

Always opt for a higher gear, and keep your foot light on the pedal.

Remove the junk from your trunk

Wind resistance increases fuel consumption, and a lighter load means less fuel use. So remove any unnecessary items in the boot and avoid added weight to your vehicle.

  • Roof and bike racks can add at least 10 per cent to your petrol costs
  • Keep windows closed (especially on the motorway) as this will help create less wind resistance
  • Don’t feel the need to drive round with a full tank of fuel unless on a long journey

Stick to speed limits

Driving faster might help you move quicker, but it also results in using more fuel as you are using your engine more.

AA research shows driving at 80mph can mean you use up to 25 per cent more fuel than driving at 70mph.

If it’s safe to do so, turning your engine off when you’re stuck in traffic can also help lower petrol waste.

Maintain your vehicle

Making sure your engine is running at its most efficient will help to keep costs down, and avoid any unnecessary stops while on your journey to check over your vehicle.

  • Use the right specification of engine oil and that it’s at the right level by using the dipstick
  • Check the coolant level and ensure it’s topped up
  • Check your brake fluid is at the maximum mark or get it checked by a mechanic if you are unsure

Avoid using your air-con

It might be a big ask when the weather is hot, but using your air conditioning uses lots of engine power, and will increase fuel consumption.

Shop around for the best petrol prices

To avoid the pesky price increase from motorway service stations, try to top up before you start your journey.


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