It’s possible to save fuel in all manner of ways. You can steal it from other people’s tanks, you can avoid hard braking and acceleration, or even slipstream the nearest lorry. However the best way to boost efficiency might simply be to lose some weight – both from your body and your car’s.
The obesity epidemic, which could affect as many as one in three UK residents by 2020, is effectively undoing a lot of the weight-saving work by car manufacturers who are seeking to keep emissions down and fuel economy up. A Daily Mail study found two per cent of fuel economy is lost for every 100lbs (45kg), so those extra chins and flab rolls could be costing you more than than you think.
If, for example, you weight 200lbs, you’re paying an extra two per cent every time you fill up – or roughly three pence extra for every litre of fuel. Over the course of the year, that soon adds up. Even if your body is a temple, your passengers’ may not be – carrying passengers – no matter what their weight, will negatively affect your fuel economy.
If the thought of exercise has you sweating, you might want to consider shedding a few pounds by emptying your boot. A recent survey by YouGov for Shell found ten per cent of drivers in the UK admit to using their car as a mobile cupboard. Outdoor clothing, gym bags, golf clubs and pushchairs are all routinely left in the boot of a car for convenience purposes, adding more weight and lowering your average miles per gallon.
So do yourself and mother nature a favour. Put the Big Mac down, hit the gym or at least empty your car once in a while.