Tips for being an economical van driver

Insurance Revolution Blog , TM , Van Driver , Driving Economy

If you drive a van for a living, whether you’re self-employed or work in a courier fleet, it’s essential that you’re clued up on how to drive more economically. Not only will reducing your fuel consumption be beneficial to the environment, it will also save you cash.

We’ve put together some tips to make you a more economical driver to help you reduce your fuel consumption dramatically.

Plan ahead

One of the most effective tips for driving your van more economically is to plan your journey in advance.

You probably have routes that you prefer to take, but it’s worth checking to see if they are the more economical ways to go. An easy way to do this is to download a route planner app onto your smartphone. A good route planner app will not only give you an estimated time of arrival, but will also try to find an alternative route if the roads are heavily congested.

If you’re planning a longer journey, it’s worth keeping up to date with traffic news. Continuously stopping and starting in traffic uses up lots of fuel, so planning ahead will give you the best chance of avoiding these areas.

Don’t speed

Many drivers like to put their foot down, especially on the motorway. But did you know that constantly driving at a high speed uses up more fuel?

Try to make sure that you stick to the speed limits. If you have problems doing this, try purchasing a SatNav that has a built in speed checker. This will notify you whenever you cross the speed limit.

Don’t always reach for the aircon

Most modern vans come with built in aircon, which is great for the summer months. However, if you get too hot while you’re driving in built up areas, it’s worth opening a window rather than automatically reaching for the aircon.

Air conditioning uses up lots of fuel, so try and save it for when you’re on the motorway.

Get your van serviced regularly

If you look after your van, you’ll be rewarded with better fuel economy. Get your van serviced regularly, and make sure you’re using the correct grade of engine oil

Check your tyres

To save on fuel, check your tyre pressure frequently.

If your tyres are under-inflated, not only are they less safe than fully pumped ones, but they also lead to higher fuel consumption. Plus, tyres can be expensive, and under-inflation can greatly decrease the lifespan of your tyres.

To find the correct tyre pressure for your van, check your manual.

Drive smoothly

Accelerating too quickly will put a strain on your van’s engine, leading to greater fuel consumption.

As a guide, it should take you roughly about 20 seconds to reach 50mph, and you should only be switching to fifth gear when you’re travelling at a speed of over 40mph.

TOP TIP: When motorway driving, try to maintain a consistent speed and try to avoid breaking harshly. The more you break and change speed, the more fuel you use.

Leave promptly

When loading your van, don’t leave the engine running as this wastes fuel.

Your van’s engine will warm up quicker when you’re moving, so even in cold weather it’s much more efficient to set off on your journey within a few seconds of starting the engine.

Combine short journeys

If you have a few shorter journeys to do, why not combine them? Even if they’re not in the same direction, combining journeys will not only save you lots of time, but will also greatly reduce your fuel consumption.

However, beware of overloading your van as this will increase the amount of fuel you use.

If you would like to get some information on using your van to make a living, and getting started as a courier, click here.

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