Save on petrol costs with these simple driving techniques

Save on petrol costs with these simple driving techniques


With rising costs of living, it is getting harder to save money nowadays. While petrol is relatively cheap in our region compared to the rest of the world, your daily drive to the office also happens to be one of the best ways you can save a bit of cash. Here are some tips on how to save petrol with some simple driving techniques.

It’s all about the gearshifts
When accelerating, shift up to the next gear by 2500 rpm, whether driving a manual or an automatic. You can control the shifts in an automatic by simply experimenting with your throttle-pedal inputs. Ideally by 50 kph, you should already be in fourth gear.

Think about how you accelerate
Up to 50 kph, it is preferable to accelerate briskly up to fifth gear. By briskly, we don’t mean floor the throttle pedal, but rather go just quick enough to have your automatic gearbox shift up at 2500 rpm. At speeds above 50 kph, acceleration and changes in speed should be made more smoothly.

Drive smoothly
At anything above 50 kph, try to maintain a steady speed, whether you have cruise control or not. You can also leave 10 minutes earlier for your destination and just drive at 100 kph instead of 140 kph.

To speed up, accelerate steadily and smoothly instead of just pressing the throttle pedal like an on-off switch. If you need to slow down, just take your foot off the accelerator pedal and use your foot brake as little as possible. That means if you see a need to slow down up front, plan ahead. For example, lift off the accelerator long before a red light, instead of braking hard a few metres before the light.

Climbs and descents
When going down a hill, let the car roll with gravity as much as the speed limit will allow, maintaining a constant speed by backing off the throttle pedal. On an uphill slope, let the car lose a bit of speed, but without becoming an obstruction for other cars.

Take care of your tyres
Check your tyre pressures every month. Under-inflated tyres will cause an increase in fuel consumption. Tyres which are under-inflated by 15 psi use around 6% more fuel due to more friction, not to mention worsen tyre wear and compromise your car’s handling. A safe tyre needs to stick to the road for handling curves and stopping fast, but if it sticks too much — or “drags” — while you’re driving along, you’ll be wasting fuel unnecessarily. Making sure your wheels are properly aligned also helps.


There are also tyres available, such as the Michelin Energy series, that are designed to save petrol by reducing rolling resistance while maintaining grip levels for safe driving. The latest-generation tyres have been incredibly successful in reducing the drag factor without compromising on safety, with innovations such as including silica in the tyre formula.

Use your engine smartly
Contrary to what some might say, you do not need to warm up your engine by idling for several minutes on start-up, at least for fuel-injected modern cars. Even in our mild winter seasons, you can just start and drive away, but just take it easy, keeping revs low and acceleration slow until the engine does warm up. You can drive normally after a few minutes.

If you want to turn up your efforts a notch and the weather is good, you can turn off your engine if you stop for more than one minute, such as a really long red signal or waiting for a friend. You can also turn up the temperature of your a/c by a few degrees instead of making the cabin freezing cold.

Be sure to maintain your car properly, replacing your engine’s dirty air filter and old spark plugs as needed, as well as topping up all oils and fluids, even between scheduled services if your car is particularly old or quirky.

Also, do not leave any unnecessary cargo in your vehicle, and remove roof racks when not in use, so your engine has slightly less load to lug around.

These are not new ideas for seasoned drivers, but they should help you out if your regular driving style is to pound on throttle and brake pedals like a circus chimp. One final bit of advice would be to plan out your route so you spend as less time in traffic as possible. Another no-brainer way to save on petrol costs is to just buy a more fuel-efficient car when it comes time to replace your current one. Newer cars have made great strides in fuel economy over the past few years. But even when buying a new car is not an option, if rising costs have become a concern, these tips can help you cut down on fuel consumption by as much as 30%.

What do you think?



  1. Hey mash regarding the immediate driving off after start, i though the same thing most guys over here though of. I was always under the impression that warmin the enigne and bringin it to almost normal temp allowed the oil to be less viscous and thus allowing the oil to lubricate the pistons within the cylinders effectively..
    I try very hard not to floor the throttle everytime i get into my vehicle but to maintain a constant speed as much as i can, but limit my self only for may be a fast over take or sumthing..

  2. 5 degree difference in temp frm th outside would mean id have 2 set my ac at 40C!

  3. All rubbish talks. 40-50 what u guys are talking about. Can u do this in dubai. Even in streets people fly their machine. Leave alone others, you yourself will honk if you find somebody in front driving at 40. All this things looks good in paper only. And Mr.Boris seat 8 people in Mohave and do a desert safari trip like Land Crusier and you will whats the difference between Land Crusier and other 4wds. One more thing don’t u think Desert Safari guys won’t like to save money, are they blind or less experienced. They would have tried different types of 4wds to come to conclusion which one is best. 1 or 2 people can be blind followers not the whole world. All men reason. If a thing is better it will come on to the top automatically.

  4. No one said to drive at 50 kph. The tips say what to do when driving at any speed ABOVE 50 kph.

  5. there is a tip can be helpful – always fill up your petrol tank at night, because a liter of cold petrol is heavier, the petrol stations sell the size of the petrol, not the weight.

    I’m not sure about it, but our college doc. used to tell us that.

    is that true?

  6. I came across articles and videos on the web stating that “PURE ACETONE” added to the fuel increases fuel economy, it states that you can get 15% to 25 % improvement on your mileage, other people state that it corrodes the fuel lines, some say acetone is harmless to fuel lines etc etc. This might not go well here as octane levels are higher compared to europe and usa. i will be trying it if i can find pure acetone, btw if anyone wants to try it out the mixing ratio is 50-75ml pure acetone in 10 gallons of fuel. on american term its 2-3 fl oz fluid ounces for 10 gallons (US gallon), try on your own risk !!

  7. I agree mash, i ment to say that sometimes we do get chance to look at rpm meter, listen to gear shifts, observe engine noise or push, as we have noticed in many comments, but in real day to day hurry burry, people hardly get time to take notice of these things. The moment you try to do a decent driving and follow road rules, some one will flash light from behind or all cars in lane in start honking, so it always seems everybody is in race. Only thing good one can do for his car in Dubai is read the instruction manual and take the car on service at time. 🙁

  8. hmm..tyre pressure. Half the petrol pumps have become like back home, no water in pump, no air in compressor, and where there is there is a queue ready to fight. Thanks to the technological advancement in tyre / rim design these days. Unlike old days, now the tyres are able to retain required psi’s for longer duration. However the Tyre Pressure Monitor acts funny in all the cars, it always shows a difference of few psi’s in every run. However the average method still works.

  9. i guess people who are used to waiting for a couple of mins will continue to do so and ppl who are in a hurry will drive off immediately. I personally still wait for like a min after engine start before i get goin.
    This discussion actually reminds me of another thing, how many guys here actually drive under 100 for the first 1000km and dont mash the throttle after your new purchase.Some motorists say that this is actually not true and on the contrary should pound on the throttle and drive hard during the first 100-200kms.Wut do you think Mash??
    They basically say that by pounding on the throttle you seat the valves properly giving better overall life and performance thus ending up burning less oil as well, but if you see any vehicle manual it says to drive slow and keep revs under 4000.

  10. but i thot that warming up the engine is good for the engine life instead of steppin on the throttle right after it has been fired up!!

  11. I was thinking the same thing Vivek 😕
    As for the driving tips, although very handy/useful, 99% of the folks here aren’t/haven’t done any of them…it’s a good thing the cars we get are durable enough to withstand the crappy driving styles of the people here.

  12. The article says it all and I agree 100%. I would like to know who has ever seen a 1000kms range on their trip meter on a full tank? I have. I have 2.5 R type Mazda6 2009 model. Now dont assume I was driving the car at 30kms/hr speed Its all about the driving style. A 1.5 engine does not mean less consumption unless you control the way your foot works. I would say even your seating position makes a difference. Warming up your for long period is not required as all you need to do is stroll slowly till the guage is at the right point. We never have a sub zero temperature in UAE, does that make sense????

  13. eco friendly tips will be really appreciating if it works, because of the rising non stoppable fuel prices and consumptions around the world and especially here in dubai….good job 😐 🙂 😐 🙂

  14. about the acetone thing…i think we dont have to mix anything with the fuel as forsure it will have more dameges than benefits.

  15. not 99% rayd, no one does it!! in fact, there might be people who may want to follow all that, but are forced not to follow it. Reachin 5th gear by 50-60 kph is the best xample; do that in a signal stop n u r eithr honked at like crazy or evn rear-ended..but anyway, as u said, the cars are gud enuf to withstand the totally messed up driving styles here..

    and mash..sumtimes, esp during winters, i’ve noticed tat my 2-yr old mondeo, whn tryin 2 move it immediately aftr firin up the engine, thre is sum kind of misfire or sumthin, whn i put it into drive n depress the accelerator as soon as startin, thre is a delay in takin off; n whn on brakes, the rpm needle jumps simultaneously between 400 & 500 rpm; all tis, till the engine temp comes up to normal..tis happns only if i take the car widout ny warming-up!!..Evn my old Chevrolet Barina used to show the same character..

  16. Redlining my BRZ is more fun than saving money. LOLOLOL.

  17. Traveling in 80kph We can save fuel from my own experience in Honda Civi 2007, Camry 2014 and Land Cruiser 2012

  18. Hi guys,
    I have been following drive arabia website for couple of years now and read all the reviews and comparison and road test stories.
    Actually i am in need of some tips/advice about saving on fuel like mentioned in this article. I own a 2009 volvo s40 which is 5 cylinder 2.4. My issue is when i use to fill earlier at fuel pump i use to get 550-600 km on a full tank. But these days that number has suddenly dropped to 200-250 km on full tank. I have checked by taking to local garage and there is no fuel leak. So i am quite puzzled and worried if i am honest as to why there is sudden drop in numbers. My driving habits are still same and so is my driving distance. Any help suggestion will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    • I’d suggest you skip the random garages and take it straight to the dealer. I’ve read that this is a common issue in Volvos, and could mean any one of a number of things, such as a failing MAF sensor, failing 02 sensor, fuel injectors, camshaft sensor issues or minor vacuum leaks. The dealer should be able to figure it out by reading error codes.

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