Menu

Aggressive Driving Wastes A Fortune In Fuel – Are You Guilty?

How much fuel is wasted by speeding and braking hard, the financial costs and how to be efficient behind the wheel

Driving hard cuts fuel efficiency 10% to 40%

Aggressive driving could cost you hundreds of pounds per-annum in extra fuel, The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in The United States confirmed. Scientists tested a traditional, petrol powered, car and a hybrid propelled by a petrol engine and electric motor to establish how much speeding and braking hard impedes efficiency.

The cars completed test runs which required them to accelerate, brake, and maintain speed at specified times and to specified extents. The runs were taken on a rolling road in laboratory conditions. The researchers then concluded that aggressive driving:

  • Lowered fuel efficiency 10% to 40% in stop/start traffic
  • Lowered fuel efficiency 15% to 30% at highway speeds

The hybrid proved “more sensitive” to style than the petrol

The cost of aggressive driving

Consider the consequence of replicating these results in your vehicle. Perhaps you have a supermini that has a 42-litre fuel tank. If petrol is £1.20 per-litre it costs £50.40 to fill. Perhaps you only drive in stop/start traffic, too. Researchers, therefore, expect aggressive driving to reduce efficiency by 10% to 40%. Note:

  • 10% of the tank’s capacity equates to 4.2-litres (£5.04)
  • 40% of the tank’s capacity equates to 16.8-litres (£20.16)

If the vehicle is refuelled from empty once per-week, the waste is:

  • 218.4-litres / £262.08 per-annum (10%)
  • 873.6-litres / £1,048.32 per-annum (40%)

Alternatively, perhaps you have a large family vehicle that has a 65-litre fuel tank. If petrol is £1.20 per-litre it costs £78.00 to fill the tank from empty. Perhaps you only drive on faster roads, too. Motorways, for example. Researchers, therefore, expect speeding and hard braking to reduce efficiency by 15% to 30%. Note:

  • 15% of the tank’s capacity equates to 9.75-litres (£11.70)
  • 30% of the tank’s capacity equates to 19.50-litres (£23.40)

If the vehicle is refuelled from empty once per-week, the waste is:

  • 507-litres / £608.40 per-annum (15%)
  • 1,014-litres / £1,216.80 per-annum (30%)

High fuel consumption does more than increase expenditure at the pump. It unnecessarily increases traffic pollution which contributes to global warning. Pollution also impedes public health. It contributes to issue such as asthma, lung disease and cardiovascular issues. Such complaints can lead to premature death.

How to minimise fuel consumption

Minimising fuel consumption is a straightforward process. Simply:

  • Minimise hard acceleration
  • Keep the engine revolutions low
  • Minimise hard braking
  • Stick to the speed limit
  • Minimise how much weight is aboard
  • Keep the windows and sunroof closed to optimise aerodynamics