Driving to save fuel

Dashboard mpg monitors turn men into fuel misers

Dashboard mpg monitors turn men into fuel misers

Dashboard mpg monitors turn men into fuel misers

Nearly seven out of 10 male drivers (69.8%), whose dashboard trip computers measure fuel consumption electronically, monitor their miles per gallon (mpg) regularly. That falls to just over half of women (50.5%), research on behalf of the AA and Shell reveals.

Improving a car’s fuel efficiency by one mile per gallon can save the equivalent of 2p to 3p on a litre of fuel, but an AA-Populus survey of 21,202 AA members* found that only 58% of them owned a car that can track its mpg and show it on the dashboard readout.

A typical fuel tank holds 11 gallons (50-litres) of fuel, so a one-mile-per-gallon saving will add 11 miles to a car’s range – enough to cut the cost of a commute or shopping trip. The average commuting distance is nine miles and the average shopping round-trip covers 8.8 miles.

For cars with different fuel consumptions, the savings differ:

35 mpg (7.7 miles per litre) - the 11-mile gain equates to a saving of 1.4 litres of fuel, currently worth** £1.93 or 3.9p a litre for a 50-litre refill.

45 mpg (9.9 miles per litre) - the 11-mile gain equates to a saving of 1.1 litres of fuel, currently worth £1.51 or 3.0p a litre for a 50-litre refill.

55 mpg (12.1 miles per litre) - the 11-mile gain equates to a saving of 0.9 litres of fuel, currently worth £1.24 or 2.5p a litre for a 50-litre refill.

As a bonus to these savings, holidaymakers travelling around Europe this summer with AA European Breakdown Cover can get money off petrol and diesel when they visit Shell motorway fuel stations in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and seven other European countries until Sunday 15 September ***.

Regional use of mpg monitoring

London – 55% have an mpg monitor, 58% use it regularly
South East – 57% have an mpg monitor, 64% use it regularly
West Country -  54% have an mpg monitor, 65% use it regularly
Wales – 57% have an mpg monitor, 69% use it regularly
East Midlands – 57% have an mpg monitor, 63% use it regularly
East Anglia – 58% have an mpg monitor, 65% use it regularly
Yorkshire and Humberside – 59% have an mpg monitor, 66% use it regularly
North West – 57% have an mpg monitor, 65% use it regularly
West Midlands – 59% have an mpg monitor, 67% use it regularly
Scotland – 62% have an mpg monitor, 65% use it regularly
Northern Ireland - 66% have an mpg monitor, 71% use it regularly

Drivers shouldn’t under-estimate the savings that can be made by reducing their fuel consumption even by just one mile per gallon. How many would go out of their way to find a fuel station offering 3p off a litre of fuel?

Simon Douglas, AA European Breakdown Cover

Comment

Simon Douglas, director of AA European Breakdown cover says: “Drivers shouldn’t under-estimate the savings that can be made by reducing their fuel consumption even by just one mile per gallon.  How many would go out of their way to find a fuel station offering 3p off a litre of fuel?

“Unlike the alternative, where measuring fuel consumption is an elaborate exercise involving filling the tank to the brim and then noting the amount and mileage at the next refill, the dashboard monitor does it all for you.” He says.

“The popularity of measuring fuel consumption among men isn’t just a matter of saving money, for many it’s a challenge and reflects well on their driving ability.

“With the help of Shell, we’ve managed to reduce the cost of motorway fuel while driving in Europe by around 2%. For the mileage many AA travellers cover in mainland Europe, that’s a significant cut in fuel costs. Add another 2% from better fuel economy, and the cost of driving in Europe isn’t quite so daunting.” 

David Moss, General Manager for Shell Retail in UK said; “Simple changes to driving behaviour really do help drivers get the most out of every drop of fuel. 

“Limiting what goes into the boot or avoiding revving and braking suddenly can make up to 10% difference on fuel bills.  We hope that being able to measure fuel consumption while driving will encourage more drivers to make changes to their driving habits and improve their fuel efficiency.”


(15 August 2013)

* Survey conducted 23-27 April 2012

** Average UK petrol price (8 August 2013) – 137.54p a litre

*** The money off fuel offer at Shell motorway fuel stations does not apply to those in the UK or Ireland.