Cost and technique tips for young drivers - Motorway Driving
When it comes to driving, motorways can be a daunting place. For new, inexperienced drivers, they become especially imposing. Most people don’t get a chance to use motorways when learning to drive – so bear these tips in mind to stay safe and hopefully save a bit of money on the way.
Fuel up before you enter a motorway for a long journey. While most do have service stations, there are few worse feelings than desperately hoping to encounter one as you’re running out of fuel. Instead, fuel up at a local supermarket that offers good prices. Don’t fill your tank fully, as the weight of the fuel can end up costing you more in economy.
A recent move will see a trial of electronic boards that display prices of fuel on motorways in the UK, which will help you make decisions if you’re running low.
Consider other drivers
No matter how skilled you become when driving, the main threat on the road comes from the actions of others. Slow driving will allow you to gauge other road users and predict their movements.
Be aware of aggressive drivers. Let them pass if they’re driving right behind you and avoid retaliating.
Driving on a motorway can be intimidating for new drivers. Remember the following to stay safe:
- Match your speed with those of the cars travelling on it when joining.
- Use your mirrors and blind spots extensively. A quick look over the shoulder when switching lanes can be the difference between life and death.
- Stick to the two second rule to gauge distance. For this, pick a fixed point such as a lamp post. When the car in front passes it, there should be a two second gap until you pass it.
- Take breaks if driving for a long period of time. Tiredness kills.
- Use your hazards and get onto the hard shoulder if you break down. Do not stay in your car.
Saving fuel when driving on long stretches of road is surprisingly simple. Compared to frequently turning your engine on and off during small journeys, a long motorway trip can help you maximise your car’s MPG and stretch your money further.
- Remove any roof racks or boxes when not in use – this will save up to 20% on fuel over a year.
- Slow down – you can save another 25% of fuel by staying at 70mph instead of speeding at 80.
- Reduce weight where possible. Don’t carry items you don’t need.
- Keep your tyres well maintained.
- Avoid over-revving and harsh acceleration.
- Don’t run the air conditioning when possible as it increases fuel consumption.
By following the above tips, you can stay safe and frugal on motorways.