10 Ways to Save Fuel Costs by Driving Efficiently

2 May, 2019 • 4 min read
10 Ways to Save Fuel Costs by Driving Efficiently


Maintaining your car in a timely manner is important for fuel economy. You can do so with Steer. There are over 1,000 car workshops listed on our platform and we offer $40 discount off your first service as well as a 5% cashback.

Here are 10 other ways you can do so simply by driving in a more fuel efficient manner:

1) Pedal gently

Fuel is consumed when you step on the pedal. The harder you pedal, the more fuel is consumed.

As a result, harsh driving which is characterized by rapid acceleration followed by braking wastes fuel as the energy generated to move your car is lost when brakes are applied.

According to fueleconomy.gov, this is the easiest way to save fuel. By pedaling gently you can save 10-40% in traffic and 15-30% on highways.

2) Avoid high speeds

The sweet spot for optimal fuel-efficiency is typically 50-90km/h. Above which, your car consumes significantly more fuel for the distance driven to overcome drag.

Going from 90km/h to 120km/h results in 20% extra fuel consumption, but this only saves you 8 minutes and 40 seconds if you are travelling from Tuas to Changi1. Not to mention that you’d be breaking speed limits.

3) Maintain a steady speed

Studies have shown that varying speeds on flat terrain can increase fuel consumption by 20% or more.

Cruise control is a good way to maintain your speed – Steer recommends using this for highways where the terrain is relatively flat.

4) Let momentum do the work on slopes

Gravity helps your car accelerate when going downhill, reducing fuel consumption. The momentum gained can help your car travel uphill.

Steer suggests allowing your speed to vary (faster downhill, slower uphill) and reduce braking as much as possible. Remember, braking wastes momentum generated by consuming fuel.

5) Anticipate traffic

Traffic jams result in your car constantly starting and stopping, resulting in higher fuel consumption relative to a smooth drive. Sometimes, taking a longer route might be more fuel efficient than a shorter route.

If you have to make routine trips, Steer recommends experimenting to determine which routes result in less fuel consumption.

If it is not possible to avoid traffic, anticipating traffic ahead of you can prevent you from braking hard to stop. Ideally, cruising to a stop will be the most fuel efficient.

6) Avoid idling your vehicle

In traffic jams, Steer recommends turning off your engine if you are stopping for more than 60 seconds. Your engine consumes around 300ml of fuel per 10 minutes of idling2, which roughly costs $0.703. This is why your taxi charges $0.22 to $0.25 for every 45 seconds of waiting time.

However, we recommend not doing this excessively, as it could put significant strain on your car battery, which could be troublesome to fix.

7) Measure your tire pressure every month

Under-inflating your tires by around 8 pound / square inch (PSI) can increase your fuel consumption by up to 4% and reduce the life of your tires by more than 10,000km.

To maximize fuel efficiency, regularly check your tire pressure at least once a month. This can be done at any petrol station.

The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle can typically be found on the driver’s door.

8) Get rid of unnecessary weight

It is common for car owners to leave baby chairs, sports equipment and other heavy items in their car. However, this makes your car work harder.

We recommend reconsidering if you really need them all the time. For every 25kg extra weight, your fuel consumption increases by 1%4.

9) Remove car accessories when not using them

Your car’s aerodynamic drag is affected if you have racks attached to your car. Fuel consumption can increase by up to 20% on highways.

Steer suggests only having these racks on your car only when you need them.

Streamline your vehicle by taking off the racks when you’re not using them. Aerodynamic drag can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20% on the highway.

10) Use a driver feedback device

Driver feedback devices or driver behavior indicators are visual displays that measure driving efficiency. Most modern cars have dashboards that can readily do this.

The display usually has red LEDs lighting up when poor driving behavior is detected while green LEDs light up when the driving is smooth.

This allows the driver to improve their driving habits, allowing for more fuel efficiency and smoother rides.

Maintain your car regularly

Cars that have gone long without servicing can have poor fuel efficiency for a variety of reasons. To maximize your fuel efficiency, ensure that your car gets serviced every 6 months.

Steer’s 5% cashback and exclusive discounts allow customers to save money while our simple-to-use platform makes it easy for car owners to find reliable car workshops.


1 Distance is roughly 52km.
2 Assuming a 3L engine.
3 Based on April 2019’s 95-octane price of $2.30.
4 For a mid-sized car.


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