How can I ensure my car is fuel efficient?

12 Nov 15

When you're searching for your next used car, there are a lot of factors to take into account when making your decision. A CarHistory report can help clarify many of these, giving you an insight into things such as possible odometer rollback and even any finance owed on the vehicle.

One of the key influences on whether or not you purchase a car is ostensibly the price, but the numbers on the windscreen aren't the only costs you should be considering. Fuel efficiency can play a huge part in your monthly budget, and even if you are to drive away from the car yard with a good deal, a fuel-guzzling model is going to burn a hole in your pocket in no time. 

Here we take a look at what makes a car fuel efficient. 

Picking the right car 

Your choice of vehicle can determine its efficiency - so it's a good idea to pick your ride carefully. In addition, not only can your fuel consumption impact your wallet it can also impact on the environment.

The government's Green Vehicle Guide (GVG) has been instrumental in providing Australia's drivers with the information they need to make an environmentally friendly choice. Carbon dioxide (CO2) constitutes the majority of greenhouse gases in car emissions, ergo CO2 levels are an indicator of fuel consumption/type of fuel according to the GVG1

Vehicles are given an overall "green rating" which comprises the air pollution and greenhouse ratings. Assigned a number out of 20, cars that have five stars scored 16 or more, with one star representing a score of five out of 20 or less. 

You can see the overall green rating of your prospective vehicle in your CarHistory report, see a sample report here

Keeping your car performing efficiently

If you've spied a vehicle with a good green rating, the next thing is to make sure you keep those fuel costs down with some basic maintenance. You can run your car more efficiently by ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated.

The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland suggests inflating your tyres to a level slightly higher than prescribed, as it can "aid in fuel economy and safer handling"2. Remember, driving smoothly and avoiding long periods of idling, such as when you are in heavy traffic, where possible can also help keep your fuel consumption down, and your bank account happy. 

1Green Vehicle Guide, Information on Green Vehicle Guide Ratings and Measurement. Accessed July, 2015. 

2RACQ, Fuel saving tips. Accessed July, 2015.