'How much further can you go on a tank of petrol?' blog discussion

Former_MSE_Penelope Posts: 536 Forumite
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click reply to discuss below.


  • RussWWFC
    RussWWFC Posts: 573
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    My 02 reg Ibiza costs around 13-14p a mile, that's without me really trying to dive economically. I worked out that is around 40mpg
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  • Butti
    Butti Posts: 5,014
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    For those of us without an indicator of exactly how much petrol is in the tank there's always the danger of running out of petrol. Last week 'just' managed to get to the petrol station - the guy behind me helped me push the car to the pump!

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  • msmyth18
    msmyth18 Posts: 156 Forumite
    I use a Iphone app called roadtrip, my 97 fiesta 1.25 averages 40.02 MPG over the last 6 months. 13p per mile!
  • Bongedone
    Bongedone Posts: 2,457
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    With correct driving my Citroen C3 HDi manages 70mpg. If I rag it around not taking any notice of my driving it drops to 63mpg.
  • Percy1983
    Percy1983 Posts: 5,244
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    As it is I need to start doing this, but the accelerator pedal isn't just a money pump but a happy button in my little C2 for me and i quite like to hit the rev limiter in 2nd on a slip road.

    As it is when I drive the focus, its big and slow and a never get such urges and use less petrol.

    As a side question on this and anybody tried the Shell fuelsave petrol? does it work?
    Have my first business premises (+4th business) 01/11/2017
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  • Tesco are advertising a new fuel which they promise you will get more miles from,not sure if you know about it,i'm going to try it as soon as I need a fill up.
  • camaj
    camaj Posts: 504
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    edited 31 August 2010 at 1:29PM
    Reading Martins post reminds me of something I could have written! I probably would have been a bit more scientific about it though if I wanted to do a proper test. If you have a very accurate fuel gauge, as Martin suggests, then you only need to compare two identical trips. You could make a note of your fuel level, drive for 5 miles, and return to the start and note how much petrol you've used. Fill up and repeat but drive more efficiently. If you don't have an accurate gauge I've read that you should fill up and then when you return note how much you needed to put in to fill up again (which would equal the amount you consumed). This might be the most accurate way since pumps measure in 10ml amounts (0.05 litres)

    When I drive I use similar techniques to the ones Martin describes. I always keep a good distance to avoid unnecessary breaking but it's also a very good safety measure. Older members (older than me anyway) may know the "only a fool ignores the two second rule" slogan from the 70's. You're supposed to measure the time it takes the back of the car in front and the front of your car to pass a fixed point on the road, or roadside. If it's less than two seconds then you're too close. I think a better way of explaing why breaking is bad is simply to say the more you break the more you have to use the accelerator to return to your original speed.

    Since I often did the same journey it was easier to judge things like lights. I would take my foot off the accelerator when I approached the traffic waiting at lights so I'd slow down gradually without breaking. Since there was already a queue there it wasn't like I was holding anyone back behind me either. Ideally you would reach the back of the queue without touching the break or stalling. Better yet, the traffic would start moving and you'd be able to put your foot back on the accelerator without coming to a stop. This works at junctions and roundabouts too. If you've got no one behind you could take as much time as you need.

    Martin says that when he does drive, it's often in urban traffic with a lot of sitting in queues. If that's your most common journey then buying a car with MHD (Micro hybrid drive AKA stop-start or mild Hybrid) should be your priority next time you buy a car. Essentially these are cars that switch the engine off when your stationary or crawling along, which is something you can't really do yourself in a normal car unless you're really not moving at all for a long time. They're not as complex as proper hybrids and you can even get a Smart car with MHD now. Sadly some hybrids aren't as efficient as people think because they're usually big cars that weigh a lot because of the extra bits they need.

    I've been obsessing about efficiency for years now, even before I bought a car. I remember being wowed at a Nissan review in the local paper that promised 50mpg! Now cars can offer 74mpg+ and that'll improve in the future. Hopefully these cars will trickle down the market in a few years but only if new car buyers pick them today.

    There's a couple, John and Helen Taylor, who constantly set world records for efficiency in even family cars. I think they get 100MPG+ I'd love to know how but they probably wouldn't want to let the competition in on it
  • Brydav
    Brydav Posts: 37 Forumite
    Martin's figures of "around £37" and "around 30 litres" are a bit vague, but from them I calculate the MPG would be "around" 44.4 over the 293 miles. This is quite good for a petrol car in mostly urban driving - my old 998cc Nissan Micra only averaged 37 MPG in combined urban,rural and occasional motorway usage.

    I don't know anything about Smart cars so I checked their web site. The current range doesn't include a 699cc engine, but their official figure of 42.8 MPG (urban) for the 999cc model compares well with Martin's 44.4. This suggests that Smart's quoted MPG figures are fairly accurate, so Martin should trade his car in for the diesel model: at 85.6 MPG 30 litres would take him over 550 miles and, even assuming diesel costs a couple of pence more per litre, a cost per mile of 6.6p

    I've driven a 1.9 litre diesel Skoda Octavia for the last couple of years. I do around 450 miles between refills (but it's a bigger tank, 55 litres compared to the Smart's 33). I wouldn't say I was a 'bad' driver but I am aware that I tend to accelerate quite hard and brake late. Even so, my average is just over 50 MPG on a mix of motorway and urban driving. Skoda quote 58 MPG combined and 46.3 MPG urban, so even this relatively big, comfortable car would beat Martin's 44.4 in his petrol Smart car (but probably not as easy to park!)

    Does this make me sound like an evangelist for diesel? It probably does, but I can't see me ever buying a petrol engined car again until hybrid technology becomes mainstream.

    P.S. If 30 litres costs £37 that's 123.33p a litre, which is quite high (even in London) perhaps Martin should be following his own advice and shopping around! I don't know where Martin lives but in N1 (for example) Petrolprices.com says the cheapest petrol available today is 117.9p whilst the dearest is 125.9p

    - These are 'back of an envelope' calculations, I'm not a mathematician so they may not be 100% accurate :)
  • JohalaReewi
    JohalaReewi Posts: 2,614 Forumite
    pat428 wrote: »
    Tesco are advertising a new fuel which they promise you will get more miles from,not sure if you know about it,i'm going to try it as soon as I need a fill up.

    But it costs more than normal fuel and Tesco don't guarantee results.
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