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SEAI offers money saving advice for motorists: ‘Avoid short journeys and check tyres’


Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has issued advice to motorists to help them to drive more efficiently, ahead of the busiest weeks of the summer.

The SEAI said in light of rising fuel costs its “steps” can help drivers to use significantly less fuel, reduce emissions, save money, and also stay safe. 

Head of Communications at the SEAI, Tom Halpin, said fuel consumption tends to be affected most by driving style, excessive rapid acceleration, unnecessary short trips, a cold engine, poor car maintenance and incorrect tyre pressure.

“With just a bit of careful consideration, we can all reduce our car use, and reduce our fuel use when we do drive,” he said. 

"A less aggressive, energy conscious driving style could save as much as 10pc on your fuel costs.

"If you think that doesn’t sound like much, then just ask yourself if you could buy a litre of petrol for €1.89 rather than paying €2.10 would you, do it?

"As fuel costs rise, lowering speed and acceleration can make that difference. Try driving between 65-80 km/hr where safe and practicable – or at 100 km/hr on a motorway. Plus, you will have a less stressful journey.”

The SEAI has issued the following advice for motorists:

Regular maintenance

This applies all the time but is especially important ahead of a long journey or a motoring holiday. A properly maintained petrol or diesel car will have; good engine lubrication, wheel alignment and well-adjusted brakes, thus reducing your fuel use. It will also make a car is safer and more reliable.

Check tyre condition and pressure

Tyres should be checked regularly. Tyres in good condition, with the proper thread depth, and at the right pressure, improve both safety and fuel consumption. Tyres that are 10pc below recommended pressure increase fuel consumption by around 2pc (worth around 4c per litre of fuel).

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Read the road

By watching the road ahead and anticipating any likely problems, driving becomes smoother, more controlled and be safer for all. Motorists should drive in as high a gear as is suitable to road conditions. At bends reduce speed gently and accelerate smoothly when halfway through to help reduce fuel use.

Avoid idling

Once the engine on, drive off gently without delay. It is more economical to switch the engine off and start it again when necessary, even if a driver is only waiting for 30 seconds. Incidentally, many newer cars have an automatic stop/start function, which means motorists do not have to think about this.

Reduce Unnecessary drag

Take off any unused bike racks or roof boxes and save as much as 20pc on your fuel costs. Drivers can save a further 3-5pc by using the car’s air-conditioning to cool down rather than leaving the windows open while driving at higher speeds in particular.

Avoid short journeys

A cold engine uses significantly more fuel than a warm engine. Opt to walk or cycle where possible and avoid using a car for short journeys.

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