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Long weekends on less fuel

Long weekends on less fuel

With Easter and ANZAC day falling within a week of each other this year and schools breaking for Term One on April 17, many will be taking the opportunity to squeeze in one last holiday road trip before winter hits. Motorists can make their fuel go further when travelling this Easter, according to Joern Scherzer of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. “You don’t have to panic at the pump this Easter – with a little preparation and a relaxed driving style you can go further on your fuel dollar.”

Speeding doesn’t just increase your risk of a crash, it also makes you use more fuel. For open road driving, most cars have a “sweet spot” for fuel economy of around 90km/hour. More than that, and your trade-off of fuel consumption for speed starts to increase exponentially, meaning more fuel is needed to keep going faster.

If you accelerate hard to speed up then have to brake right away, you’ve just wasted that fuel. Aim to speed up and slow down gradually and smoothly so your car sips rather than chugs fuel.

Looking ahead for traffic lights and corners, and keeping a good following distance between you and the car ahead makes it easy to drive smoothly. For long trips, Google before you hit the road to check for areas that might have road works or congestion so you can try to avoid them. The NZTA keeps up-to-date information on traffic and highway conditions here

Underinflated tyres take more energy to roll, meaning they make your car use more fuel. A quick top up every month when you fill up at the service station will only take a few minutes and can save 8c/litre on your fuel costs. Different cars require different tyre pressures – find yours on the inside of your driver or passenger door, or check online at . It’s a good chance to check your tread depth, too – in wet weather, you want at least 3mm of tread depth.

There’s a reason cars are built streamlined from lightweight, tough materials – it’s easier to move with less load and drag. Once you’ve got where you’re going, unpack and take the roof rack off – you don’t need to be paying to haul all that deadweight around.

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