From sticking to the speed limit to selecting the right gear – these eight tips could save you close to £400 on fuel each year

DRIVERS across the UK could save almost £400 a year in fuel costs by making changes to the way they drive.

From reducing drag to learning when to change gears, a few simple tips will help you drive more economically and save money when filling up.

A recent study by Warranty Direct found that driving with roof racks, even it they are unused, can cause wind resistance meaning your car's engine has to work harder.

Drivers can save around £52 a year by removing their roof racks when they're not being used.

It might sound simple, but driving in the right gear depending on traffic and weather conditions makes a big difference to your fuel consumption.

If the engine is revving too much or struggling to make a sound, you may need to change gears – and it could save as much as £78 each year.

Warranty Direct’s tips on how to drive more economically and save money on fuel

1. Consistent cruise – Constantly speeding up and slowing down burns 20 per cent more fuel than consistently cruising.

2. Stick to speed limits – Driving at just 10mph under the speed limit can help reduce fuel consumption by 25 per cent and help save almost £28 per year.

3. Pay attention to fuel consumption displays – Being more vigilant with checking how much fuel you are using and how far you have driven each journey can help you save £79 a year.

4. Driving in the correct gear – Driving in the correct gear is essential to looking after your engine and can save £78 a year.

5. Check your tyres – Driving on a properly inflated tyre can save you £15 a year.

6. Streamline your car – A roof rack adds greater wind resistance to your car. Only use them when necessary and save yourself around £78 a year.

7. Turn off air con – Try not to use your air con all the time and you can save £30 a year in fuel costs.

8. Don't warm up your engine – Warming up your car causes unnecessary wear on your engine and wastes up to £15 a year in fuel.

It's something all drivers often forget to check, but even driving with under-inflated tyres can cost you when filling up.

One in four cars across the UK has at least one under-inflated tyre, according to Michelin Tyres, resulting in higher fuel costs for motorists.

Regularly checking and inflating your tyres to the correct air pressure can save you around £15 a year.

For those who are really looking to save, keeping track of how much fuel you use each journey can slash your annual bill by almost £80.

If you know the distance you've driven and how many litres of petrol fills your tank, you can divide the miles by the fuel to find out how much petrol you have used.

As the mercury drops, most of us will turn the engine over to warm up our car before setting off.

But letting a cold engine idle could actually do more harm than good, and could end up costing you more in the long run.

So by simply driving off straight away, you could save around £15 a year.

The way you drive also impacts on your fuel consumption, as constantly accelerating and stopping increases your fuel use by 20 per cent, while driving at a consistent speed can save you £68 a year.

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Creeping over the speed limit on motorways will also add to your petrol costs as driving at 70mph uses 25 per cent less fuel than 80mph – with those who obey speed restrictions £27 a year better off.

Driving with the air con blasting in stop and start traffic can affect fuel consumption by 10 per cent and could cost you around £30 a year.

Simon Ackers, CEO at Warranty Direct, said: “At a time when fuel prices are rising and Christmas is fast approaching, we think it’s important to make motorists aware of some of the best ways to drive more economically and save money.

“Our tips show there are lots of ways to reduce fuel consumption, both by using new technology and by modifying everyday driving habits.

“If eco-driving becomes the norm, it has potential to drastically decrease emissions, boost road safety and mean less wear and tear on your vehicle.”

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