Top Tips on How Disabled Drivers Can Improve their Fuel Consumption

The price of petrol is volatile at the best of times, and never more so than at the moment. The reopening of the world’s economies following coronavirus lockdowns, followed by the conflict in Ukraine, has increased the price of oil. This in turn has fed through to the price we are paying at the pumps. Some motorists are now paying more than £1.55 a litre for their petrol, and diesel is even more expensive.

Ransome Mobility stock a range of nearly new and used WAVs for customers in Norfolk and Suffolk. Here we look at a few simple steps you can take to ensure you drive as economically as possible, which will help save you cash and improve your safety on the road.


Only Take What You Need

Weight is one of the biggest reasons why cars won’t do their advertised miles per gallon (mpg) figures. So have a good clearout of your boot and get rid of anything you don’t really need for the journey. (We appreciate that this can be difficult for some because hoists, mobility scooters and lifts all add to the weight of a car).

The same also applies if you have anything on the roof racks, as the ‘drag’ can also increase your fuel consumption.


Make Sure it’s Well Maintained

A car will only do its recommended mpg if it’s in good condition. So make sure it’s serviced regularly (at the very least during the recommended intervals). At Ransome Mobility, we offer a complete aftercare service so you can keep your vehicle in excellent condition.

This advice applies particularly to tyres. You need to check the pressure regularly and make sure they are properly inflated. You can inflate your tyres at many local petrol stations. Also, check the depth of the tread on them as well because the legal limit is 1.6mm per tyre.


Drive Carefully

Driving too fast is one way of using more petrol than you need to. Basically you need to drive in the fastest gear possible within the speed limit of the road you are on. Revving the engine too quickly will increase the fuel consumption, so make your gear changes as quick and as smooth as possible.

Try to anticipate the road conditions ahead, such as traffic jams and sudden slopes, so you don’t do any sudden or emergency stops. On the same note, driving uphill will always increase fuel consumption, so try to accelerate before you reach the base of a hill, then ease off as you drive up the slope.

Lastly, if your car has a cruise control fitted, it won’t always help to aid your fuel consumption. It only really works when the vehicle is on a flat and level surface like a motorway.


One Journey is Better than Two (or Three)

Your engine is more efficient when it is warm. Several different starts, particularly in cold weather, mean it will take longer for the engine to reach this temperature. So if you need to make a journey, make one long one rather than lots of shorter trips, such as combining a shopping trip with a work journey.


Watch the Heating and Air Conditioning

Having the heating or air conditioning on can increase your fuel consumption by up to 8-10%. Essentially when it’s switched on, the load on the alternator increases and it uses more power from the engine. So only turn it on when really necessary. And watch the windows as well. Having them open (maybe instead of switching on the air conditioning on) will increase drag putting an extra load on the engine and increasing fuel consumption.

Make sure you dress appropriately for the weather, even if you are at the wheel. Lots of thin layers will mean you can easily adapt your body temperature.


Motability Models

A study by What Car? Magazine has looked at the fuel consumption of various makes and models which form part of the Motability scheme. The models they discovered to be most economical were:

  • VW Polo
  • Nissah Qashqai
  • Ford Focus
  • Seat Leon
  • Kia Picanto
  • Seat Ibiza
  • Renault Kadjar
  • VW Up!
  • Suzuki Ignis
  • Toyota Yaris (the petrol-electric hybrid)

These tests were done on a ‘real-world’ route which included town, rural and motorway driving.


Used Wavs for Sale in Norfolk and Suffolk from Ransome Mobility

To check out our current range of WAVs for sale, follow this link. Don’t forget, if you can’t find your ideal vehicle there, thanks to our contacts in the industry, we may be able to source it for you.

We can also fit a range of vehicle adaptations to make a car suitable for you, including twin-fit and left-foot accelerators, steering wheel balls, and wheelchair and scooter hoists.

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