British drivers are currently paying the ninth-highest petrol prices and the third-highest diesel prices in Europe, according to a report from the AA, with the average cost per litre rocketing to an eye-watering 137.5 and 141.9 pence respectively.
Van owners are among those being hit hardest by the hikes, and not least because these vehicles achieve a relatively low MPG (miles per gallon) figure. These motorists usually depend on their van for work, rending them unable to reduce fuel consumption and save money by cutting back the miles.
However, there are plenty of options van owners can take to get more miles out of a tank of fuel:
Of course, one of the most effective ways to reduce your fuel bill is to purchase a more efficient van. Electric vehicles will mean no more visits to the pump, but petrol heads can opt for a combustion engine while still saving money, and the planet.
It’s a good idea to look out for vehicles that meet Euro 5 emission standards, since this indicates higher efficiency. You can quickly discover whether there are any VW Caddy vans for sale or any other Euro 5-compliant vehicles on the market near you by using the Van Monster website.
Taking this route may also allow you to save money on your vehicle tax, since, as the government website shows, regular LGVs (light goods vehicles) are subject to an annual rate of £220, whereas tax discs for those that meet Euro 5 standards cost £140.
Loading your van
The amount of weight your van is carrying has a significant impact on fuel consumption, meaning that the heavier the cargo the larger your petrol forecourt bill. You can therefore save substantial sums of money by making sure to remove unnecessary loads.
Adapting your driving habits and adopting a more efficient style could enable you to improve your MPG reading significantly. Although you may have to consciously implement these tactics at first, these eco practices will quickly become second nature.
Avoiding harsh acceleration and braking is crucial – gain speed gradually when setting off and use engine braking to slow down in good time. Stick to speed limits, maintain consistent speeds, stay in the highest gear appropriate and switch off your engine when stationery for more than one minute.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, open windows are more efficient than air conditioning when you are travelling below 50mph. Both compromise your fuel efficiency though, so dress for the weather and avoid using either unless necessary.
Maintenance is key
Both over- and under-inflated tyres have a negative impact on the MPG your van achieves, so visit the air machine at least once a week to ensure the pressure is at optimum levels.
Other maintenance tasks are crucial to getting the most out of a tank of fuel – keep fluid levels topped up, change filters when necessary and make sure to get your vehicle serviced as frequently as the manufacturer recommends. Paying for these vital checks is more cost effective than having a problem go undiagnosed and cause significant damage.
The SMMT calculates that the average driver could save 20 per cent on their fuel bill by embracing these types of green habits, so don’t hesitate to start taking advantage today.