Inefficient driving costs Scots drivers over £570m a year

Published on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:52
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Inefficient driving costs Scots motorists more than £570m in wasted fuel every year, new research from the Energy Saving Trust has found.

Car and van drivers could save an average of £250 each – or 21p off every litre spent on petrol and diesel – by following a range of simple fuel efficient driving tips. The fuel saved would fill nearly 200,000 Olympic swimming pools or Hampden Park 416 times over.

Energy Saving Trust – which offers free advice to motorists in Scotland on how to cut their fuel bills – has today launched FuelGood, an app designed to flag inefficient practices like driving in too low a gear, and inspiring drivers to save money behind the wheel and cut the amount of carbon dioxide their vehicle emits.

The FuelGood app aims to save motorists cash by tracking their car journeys, flagging when they are driving inefficiently and highlighting the savings they could make by following a range of easy Fuel Efficient Driving tips from Energy Saving Trust.

The app uses GPS satellites to measure journey length, time taken per journey, average speed, acceleration and deceleration and average miles per gallon. This then lets drivers know how their average carbon emissions stack up, and the potential savings they could make by driving more efficiently.

Energy Saving Trust experts calculate that an average driver in an average car in Scotland drives 9,090 miles annually. By taking their advice, that motorist could save £250 a year – that's 69p a day. Research has shown drivers can save up to two months' worth of fuel off their yearly fuel bill by following these tips.

Minister for Transport, Keith Brown, said: "We are all looking at ways to cut fuel consumption and this is a great tool to track everyday journeys and to see the difference that driving efficiently can make. I would encourage all drivers to consider how they drive to reduce their fuel costs."

Ian Murdoch, manager for Scottish transport at the Energy Saving Trust, Scotland, said: "We wanted to create a practical way to save people money and reduce carbon emissions, and we've done that with FuelGood. With Energy Saving Trust figures showing Scots drivers waste around £572 million in fuel every year, there has never been a more important time to save money at the pumps.

"Fuel Efficient Driving advice is about adapting your driving style. Simple tips like anticipating road conditions and driving smoothly, shifting to a higher gear as soon as possible and switching off air conditioning when it isn't needed all have their part to play – and they don't necessarily slow you down.

"The FuelGood app suggests these tips to drivers, providing them with instant feedback at the end of their journey."

When activated, the FuelGood app constantly monitors the movement of a vehicle, and provides feedback on how well they are driving by showing green for efficient driving and red if it detects inefficient practices like excessive idling or increased speed.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "Driving smoothly without accelerating harshly and braking rapidly can without doubt make a noticeable difference to fuel economy and drivers' pockets.

"Through campaigns like FuelGood, and the ever-increasing cost of fuel, motorists are beginning to take the message on board."

The FuelGood app is NOW available for iPhone users from the App Store and for Android devices through Google Play.

Energy Saving Trust also runs Fuel Efficient Driver training sessions across Scotland. In them, an Approved Driving Instructor explains how following a few easy tips behind the wheel can save drivers money and carbon emissions by raising their mpg. Subsidised, one-to-one training sessions lasting 50 minutes, are currently available at a cost of only £12.

Source: ©Energy Saving Trust

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