Fuel-saving tricks drivers should avoid at all cost – ‘Incredibly dangerous!’

Charlie Stayt and Dominic Raab clash over petrol prices

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According to the latest RAC Fuel Watch, motorists can expect the prices of petrol and diesel to rise even more. As of now, drivers will have to pay 185.44p per litre of petrol and 191.21p per litre of diesel. With all of that in mind, car owners are much more likely to practice some fuel-saving techniques to reduce their bills.

However, some hypermiling tricks that aim to save fuel can be quite dangerous.

Express.co.uk has now spoken to three different experts who warned that techniques such as slipstreaming and coasting can be “incredibly dangerous”.

James Andrews, personal finance expert at Money.co.uk, warned drivers that fuel-saving tricks must be carried out properly.

He said: “If done right, hypermiling can add 40 percent to the stated range of a tank of fuel, which is roughly how much petrol and diesel prices have risen in the past year.

“The main secret to hypermiling is a simple one — slow down. Travelling at 60mph rather than 80mph uses far less fuel per mile travelled and adds remarkably little time to journeys overall.”

Mr Andrews added: “However, some fuel hacks are incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

“Using the slipstream of larger vehicles on the motorway and coasting in neutral are tactics people say work, but you would be putting yourself and other road users at risk.

“You’re better off sticking to the numerous other hypermiling tactics that don’t risk life and limb.”

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Other, safe techniques, that Mr Andrews mentioned included using the accelerator as lightly as possible and maintaining driving momentum, as well as turning off the air con.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, echoed Mr Andrews’ comments saying that some hypermiling techniques simply require too much concentration while driving.

He said: “The UK’s roads are still very busy and when you are driving you need to concentrate on your safety and that of others first and foremost.

“Some hypermiling techniques demand high concentration levels which could distract you from safe driving.

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“Going far too slowly can also irritate other drivers who don’t know what you are doing and that can lead to road rage.”

Mr Greig also urged drivers to “never” free wheel in a modern car.

That’s because it automatically switches off all the safety systems.

The expert added: “Coasting is okay in the right time and place.

“The best eco-driving techniques are the simplest – keep your car well maintained, stick to the speed limit, look far ahead and anticipate slowing down at traffic lights or junctions.

“At low speeds open the windows for ventilation. At higher speeds only use the air conditioning when you have too.

“Gadgets need power, which comes from the engine and uses up fuel, so I’m afraid the heated seats, steering wheels and other comfort items should be avoided. “

Additionally, Alex Hasty, director at comparethemarket.com, told Express.co.uk that driving habits have changed massively due to the high fuel prices.

He said: “As the cost of fuel increases, it is becoming tough for many drivers to stay on the road.

“Our research shows high petrol and diesel prices are now forcing drivers to make fewer journeys, and some are needing to cut back on seeing friends and family.

“More than eight in 10 drivers are worried about the increasing fuel prices and one in three fears they won’t be able to cover the cost of driving in the coming weeks.

“Concerningly, 31 percent of drivers think they will need to take on additional debt to afford to keep driving.”

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