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MSE's 2011 Petrol/Diesel Cost Diet Challenge: Put your money where your pedal is!

edited 11 January 2011 at 8:29PM in Motoring
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  • We have a Skoda Octavia Tdi estate, which does 50mpg quite easily (it has to be seriously thrashed to do any less!). Anyway, with the current excessive price of fuel I decided to see how much more I could squeeze out of it on a 180-mile trip last weekend. With about half the trip on the motorway - where I averaged about 65mph - and half on A,B and C roads the fuel consumption for the trip was 61.6mpg! Amazing for a largish estate car with a family of five, plus kit, in it.
    The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
  • MonkeySaving?MonkeySaving? Forumite
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    As a fuel card holder, I would appreciate it if you paupers can't afford fuel, can't keep up with the car in front and generally drive like an elderly person then please use public transport, instead of holding me up on my journey to work. ;)
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  • customised wrote: »
    I drive a Smart ForTwo cdi. So far this year I am averaging 77.6mpg and have travelled some 3810.6 miles since 01/01/2011 (yes, I actually keep track of all this in a spreadsheet!). The best I've averaged is 86.6mpg (over 397.8 miles) and the worst I've managed is 57.7mpg over 302.6 miles. I mostly drive on A and B roads through rush hour traffic. My primary reason for getting a Smart car was because it's tax exempt due to it's low emissions and very cheap to run in terms of insurance and servicing. Before this car I also drove a very modest Kia Ceed 1.6 crdi and I have worked out that I am saving over £180pcm by driving my Smart car. That's more money in my pocket and less in anyone else's. It's a very practical commuter car and that's all I use it for - you can also park it on a penny, something I love doing - it'll fit into the smallest of spaces. It is proving a good little workhorse and is actually surprisingly spacious. My neighbour used to have one and said that the boot in the Smart car was bigger than the boot in his (BMW) Mini Cooper that he later replaced it with. I am 6ft 6in and 16st and, although I'm sure it must look comical someone of my size getting out of one, I don't care a jot as I'm saving over £2000 per year! :rotfl:

    co2 g/km is an important consideration for the cars we are going to contract hire for the wifes company, I was looking with interest at the Fiat 500 twin air, but then noticed that the Clio DCi 86bhp is available in a new eco2 model that gives about 65mpg urban and nigh on 80 extra urban.

    The wife has an older 56 plate model of the same car and gets 60mpg on average.

    As soon as I discovered this new eco2 Clio the Fiat 500 and the SMart ForTwo is not even an option.

    I can see the point, and a colleague at work has one for the same reason you do.

    But if I can get a full size five door car, with decent performance and 5* NCAP for around £12k and free Congestion Charge and Road Tax then I am sold.

    They are a nice car to drive aswell, and better built than Renaults of old if i'm honest.

    Though ours and the eco2 model I am talking about don't have lots of gizmos to go wrong.
  • As a fuel card holder, I would appreciate it if you paupers can't afford fuel, can't keep up with the car in front and generally drive like an elderly person then please use public transport, instead of holding me up on my journey to work. ;)

    Think you may be on the wrong forum.

    And the fact that you have a fuel card by definition means you probably can't afford fuel either.;)
  • LeeUKLeeUK Forumite
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    It's all very well saying you can save loads by de-junking your car. I don't have any junk in my car, or a roof rack, and I always check my tyres. Yet my fuel bill is still going up. :(
  • bigpatbigpat Forumite
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    The other day, it cost me just under £75 to fill my 2004 Vectra diesel. I’ve been monitoring my fuel usage for a few months and know that I will get about 530 miles from a full tank. So I have worked out that it costs approx 14p per mile. I know I haven’t included tax, insurance, maintenance etc. for a true “running” cost. I’m only working out a “mileage cost”.


    There’s a regular journey I make which is 58 miles (round trip) and I put this into Google map, making sure I specified the route I actually drive which avoids both a city centre and a ring-road which can both get snarled up. I clicked the estimated fuel cost at the bottom of the driving directions and input £1.37 (I paid 136.9 at Asda). This updated the estimated fuel cost for my trip to £12.06. But using my 14p per mile calculation, I make it £8.21. This seems a hell of a difference! A few possibilities occur to me:
    • Google’s estimated fuel cost is probably based on petrol, whereas I’m using diesel. Diesel may be more economical per mile, but surely not nearly 50% more economical. Or is it? Bearing in mind it’s 7p/litre more expensive (at least at my local Asda.)
    • I drive as economically as I can. The boot just has a few reusable carrier-bags, I keep my tyres pumped up and I rarely accelerate or break hard, allowing momentum to carry me with my revs as low as possible. I’m not crawling though. I usually make the trip in about 40mins each way, so I’m averaging 43/44 mph, not bad when there are two towns involved. But my Vectra is probably both slightly larger and slightly older than the average car out there, so again I’d be surprised if I was managing anywhere near a 50% saving.
    • I’ve screwed up my calculation somewhere.
    • Google have screwed theirs up.
    Has anyone else worked out their fuel cost per mile and compared it with Google’s estimate?
  • LeeUKLeeUK Forumite
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    Mine is about 15p per mile. Petrol though.
  • JennyPJennyP Forumite
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    I haven't compared it with google's estimate but I've just switched from an old Mercedes SLK 2 litre petrol to a Citroen C3 convertible 1.4 diesel with the main aim of cutting my fuel costs. Even though my Merc was more economical than the estimates for it on Parkers and Autotrader, I still think I'm going to almost halve my fuel costs. If the Citroen does as many miles on this one tank as it says it's going to, it'll have cost about 10p per mile as opposed to nearly 19p in my old Merc.
  • bigpatbigpat Forumite
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    Wow, that's going to be quite a saving if you can keep it up. I've been wondering whether to buy a more economical car, but the extra capital outlay would take forever to recoup in fuel savings and actually the Vectra never gives an ounce of trouble so I may as well stick with the devil I know.

    But your saving is nothing compared to these lucky sods

    Jammy, eh?
  • JennyPJennyP Forumite
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    I passed that actual garage the night before and nearly filled up there!
    I reckon it'll take me 18 months to recoup the money I spent on the Citroen in terms of fuel savings, but I also save on tax and insurance too and as the car is 5 years younger than my Merc and has done only 20,000 as opposed to 120,000 I'm hoping maintenance costs will also be lower. That said, the Merc never needed more than a service. It never broke down or anything.
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