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ViaMichelin Le Mag

6 bad ideas for saving fuel

6 bad ideas for saving fuel

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With fuel prices on the rise, many drivers are looking for ways to save money or reduce consumption. While numerous "tips" are available, whether on the web or by word of mouth, many of them prove to be ineffective or even dangerous. Discover 6 bad ideas that you should avoid!

Opting for off-road diesel

Agricultural or red diesel is a fuel reserved for agricultural vehicles and those involved in fish farming, horticulture and forestry activities. Vehicles that are allowed to use red diesel include agricultural, special and unlicensed vehicles and certain machines and appliances. As of April 2022, they must be carrying out an approved operation, not just working off-road as was previously the case.

Driving in neutral or freewheeling

Contrary to popular belief, driving in neutral does not save money. Most vehicles are now equipped with fuel-injected engines that do not consume fuel when the engine brake is used. In addition, coasting can be dangerous as it is much more difficult to brake in a vehicle when it is in neutral.

Driving in a low gear

Here’s another persistent misconception: that driving in a low gear will reduce fuel consumption. The opposite is true! Not only will your tank empty faster, but the impact on the mechanics of your vehicle will be felt quickly, resulting in premature engine wear.

Taking advantage of a truck’s suction

Driving directly behind a truck allows you to benefit from the suction effect that many drivers are familiar with. Is this the ideal way to save your engine? The answer is no, because of the danger involved! This technique prevents you from respecting the safety distances in force. Your safety and that of your passengers are much more important than the few pence you save.

Filling up in the morning

Are you an early riser? You may be familiar with the trick of filling up in the morning. When temperatures are lower, the fuel is denser, so you can get more fuel for the same price. But that doesn’t take into account the fact that the fuel pump meter regulates the amount to the nearest millilitre at any time of the day!

Leaving without paying

Is it worth mentioning? Not paying for fuel is an offence that can cost you dearly. Making off without payment, ‘bilking’ or cheating someone out of something valuable is a punishable offence in the UK. If you knowingly drive away without paying after filling up, then you are committing an offence. ‘Making Off Without Payment” can land you in court, and if found guilty, you can face a fine of up to £5,000 and even a prison sentence of up to 6 months.


If you want to save on fuel, rather than using inefficient and dangerous tricks, have your car checked regularly, choose high-quality tyres and start driving in a more eco-friendly way!