Drivers squeezing more kilometres from their tanks

81% of motorists nationally say they are making a conscious effort to get more miles for their money by driving in a fuel efficient manner.  This is according to an AA Motorists’ poll of more than 21,000 motorists.  47% will reduce the number of kilometres that they drive this year because of rising fuel prices. 83% declare that they consciously shop around when buying their fuel.

 The AA calculates that a driver doing 12,000 miles per year and getting 30mpg on average will use 150 litres of fuel per month. As petrol and diesel prices continue their relentless rise, that now means a monthly fuel cost of €220.

“People are absolutely livid.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “It is completely maddening because we know that a large chunk of this price increase is down to extra Irish taxes, with nearly 19 cent per litre added in excise duty and carbon tax since 2008. We received more than 2,700 detailed comments from AA Members in our most recent poll, and the frustration they are feeling is palpable.”

93% of respondents of the AA Motorists Panel poll said that they are in the regular habit of checking the fuel prices as they pass service stations.  Just 3% said that they never look at all.  Taking the AA’s repeated advice to look for the best deals on fuel, 83% of respondents indicated that they actively shop around for fuel these days.

Just 13% of respondents said that they buy their fuel in units of litres rather than in euros.  This is a practice recommended by the AA as it allows motorists to accurately judge the value they are getting.  On a positive note for driver’s wallets, 83% said that they make sure to accelerate slowly and smoothly when moving off from rest.  The AA advises drivers that a harsher driving style will burn fuel more quickly.

79% of respondents said that they always make sure that their tyres are properly inflated.  The AA reminds motorists that this is good practice not only from a safety point of view but also in terms of saving money.  Low tyre pressure reduces a tyre’s rolling resistance forcing the engine to work harder and reducing your mpg. 

62% of respondents of the AA’s Motor Insurance Poll also said that they make an effort to avoid or minimize use of the air conditioner while driving.  According to the AA, use of a vehicle’s air conditioning system at 50% of its capacity can add up to 10% onto your fuel bill.  It also informs motorists that air con use during city driving is particularly sore on fuel consumption.

Just 39% of respondents said that they drive slowly in a bid to minimize fuel usage.  65% said that they plan their manoeuvres in advance to reduce breaking and acceleration and only 16% said that they use the cruise control functionality.  Cruise control ensures a steady speed while driving helping to eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption. A slightly higher percentage of men than women surveyed, 83% compared with 79%, said they regularly employ “fuel efficient”, driving techniques. 

For further tips and advice on fuel economy and a historic record of fuel prices, are available here in the AA Zone.

1. Frequency with which respondents indicated that they drive in a fuel efficient manner

 [ALL RESPONDENTS – Based on 20,130 responses]

Daily 39.3%
Regularly 41.3%
Seldom 12.5%
Rarely 4.0%
Never 2.9%

FEMALE RESPONDENTS – Based on 7392 responses]

Daily 38.2%
Regularly 40.9%
Seldom 13.1%
Rarely 4.0%
Never 3.8%

[MALE RESPONDENTS – Based on 10238 responses]

Daily 40.6%
Regularly 42.1%
Seldom 11.7%
Rarely 3.5%
Never 2.1%

Extent to which respondents agreed to the below statements pertaining to fuel economy

 [ALL RESPONDENTS – Based on 19,413 responses]

 

  Agree completely Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree somewhat Disagree completely
I shop around different garages to seek out the cheapest fuel 49.7% 33.4% 6.1% 5.3% 5.6%
I take notice of the price of fuel in different garages 73.7% 19.1% 2.1% 2.4% 2.7%
When buying fuel, I buy in units of liters not euros 12.5% 7.0% 11.4% 14.2% 54.9%
I avoid hard braking 52.7% 31.9% 9.7% 4.0% 1.8%
I make sure to accelerate slowly and smoothly when moving off from rest 48.2% 34.6% 9.5% 5.9% 1.7%
I don’t think about fuel efficiency at all when I am driving 9.3% 16.6% 11.2% 26.6% 36.3%
I make sure that my tyres are properly inflated at all times 39.2% 39.6% 11.5% 7.9% 1.8%
I avoid harsh acceleration 45.7% 34.8% 9.9% 7.5% 2.0%
I avoid or minimize the use of the air conditioning 37.7% 24.7% 17.5% 12.1% 8.0%
I drive slowly 9.8% 29.4% 29.2% 22.5% 9.2%
I do not pay for the fuel I use myself (egg my employer pays) 4.8% 1.7% 3.1% 2.4% 88.1%
I plan my maneuvers in advance to reduce braking and acceleration 30.5% 34.4% 18.4% 8.0% 8.6%
I use the cruise control feature on my car 15.0% 10.6% 19.7% 3.8% 50.9%

 

[MALE RESPONDENTS – Based on 10,273 responses]

 

  Agree completely Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree somewhat Disagree completely
I shop around different garages to seek out the cheapest fuel 52.0% 31.8% 6.4% 4.6% 5.1%
I take notice of the price of fuel in different garages 75.3% 18.3% 2.2% 2.1% 2.1%
When buying fuel, I buy in units of liters not euros 15.1% 7.4% 12.1% 13.1% 52.3%
I avoid hard braking 55.1% 31.2% 8.6% 3.5% 1.6%
I make sure to accelerate slowly and smoothly when moving off from rest 43.7% 36.5% 10.9% 6.9% 2.0%
I don’t think about fuel efficiency at all when I am driving 7.9% 14.5% 9.5% 26.4% 41.6%
I make sure that my tyres are properly inflated at all times 42.0% 39.0% 11.0% 6.8% 1.3%
I avoid harsh acceleration 42.7% 35.7% 10.9% 8.3% 2.3%
I avoid or minimize the use of the air conditioning 36.1% 24.5% 17.9% 12.7% 8.8%
I drive slowly 8.7% 27.4% 29.7% 23.4% 10.7%
I do not pay for the fuel I use myself (e.g. my employer pays) 5.6% 1.8% 3.4% 2.3% 86.9%
I plan my maneuvers in advance to reduce braking and acceleration 35.7% 36.1% 16.6% 6.3% 5.3%
I use the cruise control feature on my car 19.8% 12.8% 18.3% 3.5% 45.6%

 

 

[FEMALE RESPONDENTS – Based on 7386 responses]

 

 

  Agree completely Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree somewhat Disagree completely
I shop around different garages to seek out the cheapest fuel 47.0% 35.8% 5.4% 6.0% 5.9%
I take notice of the price of fuel in different garages 72.1% 20.0% 1.9% 2.7% 3.2%
When buying fuel, I buy in units of liters not euros 8.9% 6.6% 10.4% 15.7% 58.3%
I avoid hard braking 49.5% 33.1% 11.0% 4.6% 1.9%
I make sure to accelerate slowly and smoothly when moving off from rest 53.4% 33.3% 7.4% 4.7% 1.2%
I don’t think about fuel efficiency at all when I am driving 10.2% 19.3% 13.1% 27.7% 29.7%
I make sure that my tyres are properly inflated at all times 34.3% 41.6% 12.2% 9.6% 2.3%
I avoid harsh acceleration 49.0% 34.7% 8.4% 6.5% 1.5%
I avoid or minimize the use of the air conditioning 40.2% 25.0% 16.4% 11.7% 6.7%
I drive slowly 10.4% 31.9% 28.4% 22.0% 7.3%
I do not pay for the fuel I use myself (egg my employer pays) 3.2% 1.3% 2.6% 2.4% 90.5%
I plan my maneuvers in advance to reduce braking and acceleration 22.9% 32.5% 20.8% 10.6% 13.3%
I use the cruise control feature on my car 8.2% 7.5% 22.1% 4.1% 58.1%