The Petrol Retailers’ Association has warned that, unless the government reduces duty, spiralling fuel prices are inevitable.
Ray Holloway, PRA spokesman, says that these rises would have happened anyway, regardless of the latest fears of terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia.
He said: “Petrol prices now are the result of the rise in crude prices in May and it’s clear that this summer is going to be a very difficult one. The present Saudi situation is merely adding to what was already going to be a difficult year. Unless the government reverses its tax position, there is no way of halting the rise in fuel prices this year. What we are seeing is uncertainty on top of an already volatile market.”
He went on to say that it was practically impossible to predict how far prices could rise.
Want to save fuel? Here are five tips to help you drive more economically…
1. Driving style
Slow down. Reduce your speed – it saves both lives and fuel.
Be safe. Most modern cars have numerous safety features – use them as appropriate. But remember that although such safety features will assist you, they will not stop accidents from happening. You must act responsibly in order to avoid accidents.
Drive smoothly. By anticipating and thinking ahead you can avoid sudden braking and sharp acceleration. Gentle driving will enable you to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by more than 10 per cent in urban areas.
Use the correct gear: Changing the gears up early and driving in the highest practical gear is an efficient way of driving. It can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent.
Starting from cold: Warming up the engine by allowing it to idle from cold is unnecessary (modern cars have cold start management systems that control the engine for cold start). Drive off immediately and use the highest possible gear to minimise cold start emissions.
2. Use of accessories
Accessories use energy – When safe to do so, switch off accessories that are not necessary (eg rear screen de-mister, seat heaters). For example, it is estimated that the unnecessary use of air conditioning can increase your fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent.
3. Weight and wind factors
Lose weight! Excess weight will increase your fuel consumption unload any excess weight you don’t need.
Cut down resistance: By removing items such as roof racks, you will cut down wind resistance and decrease fuel consumption. For example, a ski rack can increase fuel consumption by seven to eight per cent or a fully loaded roof rack by 30 per cent. When travelling with a load on the roof, make sure it is well wrapped as it will cut down wind resistance.
4. Maintain your vehicle
Service your vehicle: In order to minimise fuel consumption and emissions, a car needs to be serviced at regular intervals (or at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals). This includes an engine tune-up for older cars. Neglecting scheduled servicing will probably cost you more in the long run.
Tyre pressure: make sure tyres are inflated to the correct pressure (as specified in the owner’s manual). Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to eight per cent and can be dangerous.
5. Driving – think about it
Switch off. When stationary, switch your engine off whenever it is safe to do so. Your fuel economy in prolonged and unnecessary idle will be zero mpg.
Drive less. Put off journeys that are not necessary and combine trips.
Avoid short journeys. During short journeys, the engine does not reach optimal temperature. This results in higher fuel consumption and emissions. Instead, when possible, walk, cycle or use public transport.