How to slash up to £1,000 from your family fuel bill

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Car wheelOver Christmas, millions of us spent hundreds of pounds on petrol as we motored off to visit loved ones all over the country.

And with the price of fuel currently at a record high, you may be wondering whether running a vehicle is really worth it anymore.
However, there are steps you can take to cut costs. In fact, the AA's latest initiative should help you cut fuel consumption by up to a third...

The AA's Drive Smart eco driving project aims to change driving techniques, in an effort to both improve safety and cut petrol costs for consumers.

Here are 12 top tips to get you on your way to greater fuel efficiency:

1. Get your car regularly serviced, and make sure you use the right sort of engine oil. Your car handbook should highlight which this is!

2. Check tyre pressure regularly, and particularly before long journeys. If your tyres are under-inflated, you'll need to use more fuel to travel the same distance.

3. Take any unnecessary items out of your car before you travel. The heavier the car, the more fuel it will use to get it from A to B.

4. The same principle applies to roof racks. They create extra wind resistance (which will increase the car's fuel consumption) so only attach one when you need it.

5. If you plan to make several short trips in a day, try to combine them in one big expedition. The car will use less petrol if you lower the number of 'cold starts' it has to make.

6. A sat nav (or decent map) could pay for itself fairly quickly: Planning your journeys before you leave the house could avoid you wasting money on petrol when you get lost!

7. You'll use less fuel if you drive smoothly, avoid excessive braking and accelerate gently.

8. Change gear as soon as possible (without putting the car's engine under strain). Try changing up at an engine speed of around 2000 rpm in a diesel car - or around 2500 rpm in a petrol car.

9. Car air conditioning increases fuel consumption (particularly at low speeds), so don't use it more than you need to.

10. For the same reason, turn off your heated rear windscreen, demister blowers and headlights when you don't need them.

11. Stick to the speed limit - and not just for safety reasons.According to the Department for Transport, driving at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.

12. If you're stuck in a traffic jam, try to judge how long you're likely to remain stationary. If it looks like you'll be waiting for more than three minutes, turn the engine off.

Finally, make sure you're not paying over the odds for the petrol in your tank. PetrolPrices is a specialist comparison website that helps you find the lowest UK petrol price in your area.

Happy motoring!

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