How to drive greener and save money

Honda CRZ
The helpful folk at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have been running a series called 'Drive & Survive' for a little while now, but the latest installment is, we think, the most useful yet.

Called 'Leaner, Greener, Cleaner,' it is especially pertinent because it explains how drivers can save up to 15 percent on their fuel bills. It's pertinent because fuel is really expensive, innit.

With a combination of smarter driving and regular car maintenance, the IAM reckons that a really noticeable saving can be made: petrol is 133p per litre on average today, which means a 70-litre tank costs £93.10 to fill, which means a 15 percent saving is around £14.

So, here they are:

Keep your vehicle moving for as long as possible, even in traffic queues. This is far more fuel efficient than stopping and starting, so slow down earlier, to avoid braking harshly and often.

Your cruising speed has a major impact on fuel economy so stick to the speed limit. This offers a good compromise between economy and getting somewhere. There's a significant saving made by doing 70 instead of 80 – and you avoid any risk of speeding fines.

Reverse into parking bays. If you do all the manoeuvring with a hot engine you can drive straight off when you come back and warm the engine up more quickly.

Check your vehicle regularly to ensure it operates efficiently. In particular check the condition of your tyres, and measure tyre pressures when they're cold.

Remove unnecessary weight, including roof racks, car clutter and heavy items in the boot. The more weight you carry in the car, the more fuel you'll burn.

Keep the inside of the front and rear windscreens squeaky clean. Traffic fumes form a film on the glass which attracts moisture and makes them mist up easily - a clean screen will rarely mist up, so you won't be using the heater and air-conditioning.

Easy. And who knew that a mucky screen fogs up more easily?