Fuel economy (yes – I know – yawn! But bear with me…)

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I know it’s not the most exciting of subjects – I’ve never been that interested in fuel economy and I would never describe my driving style as economical. Progressive, certainly, and not excessively throttle-heavy, but the techniques I’ve written about in my books are certainly not designed to eke out the maximum mileage from every tank of petrol.

However, I have a future book in my head – “Drive to Save Fuel” or something along those lines, in which I’ll write about how to adopt a fuel efficient driving style. There’s loads of information out there on how to make your car as fuel efficient as possible – removing unnecessary weight, increasing tyre pressures, removing roof racks and bike carriers etc. – but very little information on how to change your own driving style to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. I made a very rough, unscientific calculation (I guessed!), and I reckoned that changing my driving style would improve my fuel economy by around 15%.

My little 218i coupe has a relatively fuel-efficient petrol engine and on my normal commute, with a little pleasure driving, a couple of blasts and the occasional YouTube filming session, I average around 40mpg. A full tank generally gets me 400 miles, which I don’t think is too bad for a petrol-engine BMW.

Following my last fill-up, I changed my driving style and adopted a few tricks and techniques which I thought would improve fuel economy. Nothing too extreme – I didn’t tape my door seams or start slipstreaming HGVs on the M60. I just approached driving with a different mindset, took advantage of the BMWs low-down torque and changed a few other little things for the duration of a single tankful of fuel.

The result?

510 miles from a single tank. Just short of 51mpg as indicated on the fuel computer (an accurate calculation came in a little lower) which is an improvement of just over 20% – quite a bit more than I predicted!

What were the tricks and techniques I used? Sorry – you’ll have to wait for the book to be published! Having said that, I’ll certainly be able to promote the book as something which will pay for itself within a couple of weeks!

I’m quite glad those 510 miles are over now though and I can resume my usual driving style! A 20% saving is great, but it wasn’t the most exciting 2 weeks of my life!


3 thoughts on “Fuel economy (yes – I know – yawn! But bear with me…)

  1. What’s the ETA on this Reg? Your other two books could use some company on my bookshelf! Do I smell another YouTube video coming on? It’s about that time… đŸ™‚

    1. Hi Lee. I’ve been very busy since starting the new website – I underestimated the demand for my coaching services, which have filled most of my weekends recently and I’ve been visiting a few advanced driving groups & giving presentations. I’ve also just started testing for RoSPA, so I’m finding my spare time is pretty full at the moment!

      A couple of weeks in Scotland should allow me to post some new YouTube stuff and I’ll look at writing a new book over the winter.

      A new book idea has been forming over the last few weeks “How to pass your advanced driving test”. A sort of supplement to Roadcraft with practical guides on how to apply the principles of Roadcraft, along with some stuff on preparing for test, what the examiners are looking for, dealing with mistakes & nerves etc.

      I’ll see how the idea develops…

      1. Really enjoyed the drive to Scotland vid Reg, and the AD test book sounds like a corking idea! Interesting to hear you’re now testing for RoSPA, I still haven’t booked my test as daughter number 2 arrived a little earlier than expected… What area do I need to put on my form to get you then? đŸ˜‰ haha Just kidding, but I do want another run out soon when you’re got a spare half day. Cheers!

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