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Top Tips for Driving Economically in Hired Vehicles

Posted on by Whitgift Hire Team

While hiring a van or car can often prove cost-effective for transporting belongings from one place to another, or exploring the country without the constraints of public transport, there are ways in which you can keep costs lower still.

One such method is through employing economical driving techniques, thereby saving fuel and reducing the amount of petrol that needs putting back in the tank before you have to return the vehicle.

There are a number of approaches all drivers can take to conserve fuel. Here are just a few of the most effective ones…

Gear Use

While it may be tempting to put off changing gear until absolutely necessary, changing to a higher gear at the earliest opportunity will considerably reduce the demands your engine places on the fuel supply – up to 15% in some cases.

Smooth Driving

Flying towards traffic lights and then screeching to a halt before flying off again not only puts strain on your brakes and gears, but also eats up a lot of fuel (somewhere in the region of 60% more than by driving smoothly). Assessing the road ahead of you and slowing down if you see a potential hazard developing, whether a car parking or a speed bump, is the best way to avoid having to come to a complete stop.
When you are stopped, resist revving the engine – perhaps the most unnecessary waste of fuel there is!

Turn off Air Conditioning

Although air conditioning is an important feature in any vehicle in the hotter months, running it when not necessary is a surefire way to see that fuel gauge drop. However, when driving at speeds, switching on the A/C is sometimes preferable to opening a window. This is due to aerodynamics…


Anything that increases drag resistance while driving along requires more fuel to drive the car forwards. Opening windows reduces the aerodynamic shape of your vehicle (although it is sometimes a necessary action to take). This is particularly important for bigger vehicles, such as vans, and is more noticeable at higher speeds.

Keep to the Limit

Speed is another factor in the rapid usage of fuel. The optimum speed for most vehicles is 60mph, and regularly exceeding this will see fuel diminish quickly. Driving at 80mph, while also being illegal, sees somewhere between 10% and 20% more fuel used than driving at 70mph.

Vehicle Condition

Ensuring that a vehicle’s engine and all component parts are kept in good condition – especially effective air filters and clean oil – will see a reduction in the amount of fuel required to keep it running. In fact, a poorly tuned engine could see up to 50% more fuel used than the equivalent journey in a well-maintained vehicle.
As one of the leading van and car hire companies across London and the South East, Whitgift Hire offer all customers unlimited mileage on rental vehicles to ensure that they receive the best value possible. All of Whitgift’s vehicles are kept in optimum condition, helping to eradicate rapid fuel usage.



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