Fuel saving tips: Motorists warned of common habit that wastes ‘4 pence of fuel a minute’

Although the RAC predicts that gasoline and diesel prices will continue to fall, they are still almost 30 pence higher than last year. This is compounded by the cost of living crisis that has been hitting motorists for months with rising household bills.

As a result, many have taken steps to minimize fuel use, and hypermiling is becoming more popular with motorists.

A key step drivers could take advantage of is avoiding idling when behind the wheel.

Rule 123 of the Highway Code highlights the “driver and the environment” and states that drivers must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running.

Drivers are urged to avoid leaving the engine running unnecessarily to reduce noise and air pollution.

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With temperatures starting to drop, this may already be happening.

When drivers leave for work or school in the morning, they can keep the engine running to warm up the car and remove frost from the windshield.

In other cases, drivers may avoid turning off the ignition if they are dropping something off at a friend’s house or when stuck in stopped traffic.

Research has shown that an idling engine can consume three to four pence of fuel every minute.

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Speaking to Express.co.uk earlier, Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO of MotorEasy, warned drivers of the massive costs they face simply by keeping the engine running.

He said: “While this may sound very innocent, research has shown that an idling engine can burn between 3 and 4 pence of fuel per minute.

“If you’re doing a 10-minute warm-up, five days a week, and you spend another 30 minutes a week stuck in traffic.

“That adds up to a very useful £166 a year that is being wasted.

“Obviously it’s also not good for the environment to have increased emissions escaping into the atmosphere.”

Many modern cars with stop/start technology save fuel by shutting off the engine while the vehicle is stationary.

Idling engines can also cause significant air pollution and can produce up to twice the emissions of a moving car.

Motorists can even be ticketed for idling. If caught, they can be fined a fixed penalty of £20 under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002, rising to £40 if not paid within the required time frame.

As with most other fines, the penalty can be increased in London to £80 where additional emission reduction schemes are in place.

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