Tricks to save you fuel when driving an automatic car

- Posted by David Anders on 11 Nov 2018 - UPDATED July 2022

Save money in your automatic with these insider tips on driving fuel efficiently.

As a driver of an automatic car, it feels like there’s not much in your control to save on petrol costs, but there are driving techniques that’ll extend your fuel to the end of the month.

1. Keep your momentum

It’s science - a body in motion stays in motion, and therefore uses less energy and fuel. Don’t brake unless needed, and driving slowly and consistently will keep your car going forward.

2. Don’t keep your foot on the brake

Resting your foot on the brake pedal, no matter how lightly, immediately applies drag to the car, which hugely impacts fuel economy. Says How Stuff Works, “It'll place an unnecessary burden on the engine and transmission. You'll wear out your brakes rapidly, as well.”

3. Tyres properly inflated

Your car only touches the ground on, quite literally, a handful of places. Each tyre has a portion as big as the palm of your hand that actually touches the road - and this has a huge impact on your driving and fuel efficiency. An underinflated tyre causes your car to drag, increases stopping distances and is generally unsafe.

4. Don’t drive angry

Racing to the robot, fast braking and crazy accelerating all chow fuel rapidly. Says the US Environmental Protection Agency, Aggressive driving can lower your fuel consumption by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Accelerate gently, and pull away slowly to save petrol.

5. Stay cool while cruising on the highway

Use your air-con wisely, car manufacturers explain that your car may use more fuel to power your air-con at lower speeds but cruising on the highway with your air-con on, won't make a difference to your fuel consumption.

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