How To Reduce Fuel Consumption In Your Work Van | Checkatrade
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How to reduce fuel consumption in your work van

Your trusty work van is a key part of your business. When you need to know how to reduce fuel consumption, that could either be with better driving styles or a more efficient van. Read our fuel saving tips below and see what you could save!

Getting the right fuel saving tips for tradespeople

Wherever you are in the UK, as a tradesperson, it’s likely you own a van in order to do your job.

Because they’re such a key part of your life, we’ve partnered with companies such as Superscript and Esso and Wex to help save our members money when it comes to running their vehicles, such as with insurance and fuel.

Spending too much money on fuel really cuts into your profit margin, so let’s get into looking at how to reduce fuel consumption.

What’s the best way for your business to save money on fuel?

You want to be more fuel efficient. But there are other ways to save fuel when driving too.

There are 4 quick and easy ways to instantly save on your fuel costs:

  1. Avoid filling up at motorway service stations (the price per litre will always be higher)
  2. Use an app such as Esso’s E-Route, to help plan your journey and identify nearby fuel stations
  3. Get a fuel card to enjoy money off the pump price – a free Esso fuel card (worth £48/year) is included with your Checkatrade membership
  4. Move away from fuel completely and get an electric van

Despite these quick and easy wins, we’re here to let you know all the ways you can save on your fuel.

There are a number of fuel saving tips that can help both your pocket and the planet!

vehicle braking

Do fuel cards save you money?

Simply put, yes. Fuel cards allow business owners to save money on the cost of fuel. And many Checkatrade members are saving money right now thanks to their fuel card.

Not sure what a fuel card is? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve teamed up with WEX Europe Services to get some really competitive fuel prices. All you need is a Checkatrade membership to begin!

Our members can apply for a FREE Esso Card™ (normally £48 per card, per year) on us! After that, there are guaranteed savings at the pump.

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How to reduce fuel consumption with your driving style

This always starts a good debate.

While you’re not going to see savings on the same scale as a better vehicle or a fuel card, every little helps, as they say!

Sometimes the little changes to the way you drive could end up making a big difference with your fuel costs.

Here are 5 fuel-efficient driving techniques to consider:

  • 1. Reduce your speed

Aggressive driving such as speeding can often waste fuel. It can lower your fuel efficiency by as much as 33% at motorway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than just money on fuel. ††

  • 2. Go easy on your brake and accelerator

Excessive braking and rapid acceleration both reduce fuel efficiency. No matter what your van is. Be a bit more sparing with both and you could start to save. Sometimes on hills, you might even want to embrace the power of gravity!

  • 3. Avoid idling

Some vans will automatically switch themselves off while idling. But if yours doesn’t, don’t let it idle for prolonged periods of time. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, consider switching off your engine, provided it is safe to do so.

  • 4. Limit your air-con usage

Air conditioning is known for using power, which speeds up your fuel consumption and also emits CO₂.** If you’re driving at a low speed, why not switch it off and open your windows instead?

  • 5. Anticipate – and plan ahead

Planning ahead with your route can also be in the immediate actions. Looking further ahead on the road means you can anticipate changes, and brake slower so you don’t lose momentum. Using the existing momentum of your van will help fuel efficiency, even when going uphill if you do it right!

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Could your van be more efficient?

Sometimes it isn’t just a case of knowing how to save fuel when driving. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and get a better work vehicle.

It’s no secret that some vans are incredibly fuel-efficient, and some are total fuel guzzlers.

That’s why, you might need to upgrade to one with a better fuel-efficient rating (A-C). Of course, you’ll need to weight up whether to buy or lease a van, based on a number of factors.

Save money on fuel costs with WEX

Checkatrade members can get a free FREE Esso Card™

Find out how

Have you considered going hybrid?

Although the upfront cost might be higher, hybrid vehicles consume less fuel overall. So it may not seem it at first, but hybrids can save you more money over a longer period of time. That is especially true in heavy traffic conditions such as cities.

So, if you drive a lot over the course of its lifetime, what you’ll save in fuel more than makes up for the initial investment.

Top tip: Don’t buy a large van or SUV if a smaller one suits your needs. Work out the ideal amount of space you’ll require, and then buy one fit for purpose. Of course, smaller vans don’t only cost less, but they’re cheaper to maintain and run.

Have you considered different fuel?

CNG (compressed natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) are two cleaner fuel alternatives.

CNG is made up of methane, which is emitted and harvested naturally in rubbish tips, while LPG is comprised of propane and butane.

Although compressed natural gas isn’t available at UK pumps, several companies will happily install one for you if required.

Top tip: Firms like Autogas convert petrol vans to LPG’s for around £1,500. Running costs then reduce to around 10p per mile instead of 17p per mile when running diesel engines. When you hit 80,000 miles, a van that’s run on LPG saves £2,800 in fuel over diesel.

Does vehicle maintenance affect fuel efficiency?

Knowing how to reduce fuel consumption by driving technique alone isn’t the whole story.

Keeping your van well maintained also plays an important role with helping you be more fuel efficient.

  • Tyre pressure

Make sure you check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before you set off on a long journey. Under-inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by up to 4 per cent.***

  • Vehicle maintenance

Keep your vehicle well serviced, and make sure you check the oil levels regularly to help keep the engine on top form.

  • Choose your fuel carefully

Using higher-quality fuel from one of the major networks such as Esso can increase fuel efficiency. That means you’ll get more miles per gallon. It’s also better for your engine, with fewer nasty deposits.

check tyre pressure

Does your load affect fuel consumption?

  • Windows and roof rack

If driving at 60 miles per hour or more keep the windows up. Open windows create a lot of aerodynamic drag, which then adds to your fuel usage when driving at high speeds.

Also, if you use a roof rack, make sure to take it off when it isn’t being used, for up to 10 per cent savings on fuel.****

  • Lose some weight

We’re not being rude, we are of course referring to the load your van is holding!

Reducing your load by 45kg could increase fuel efficiency by 2%.††

Quick summary

Your driving style can impact your fuel efficiency, so it is important to check how to reduce fuel consumption as well as ways to save.

One of the best ways for your business to save money on fuel is by using a fuel card.

Checkatrade members are eligible for a free Esso fuel card (worth £48/year), which gives your business discounted rates off pump price. It’s a no brainer – become a member, get your free card and save around £160 a year savings on one van. Simple.

On top of that, Checkatrade members have access to other exclusive benefits and discounts.

That includes business essentials like a new van, fuel prices or tools. Have a look at our Member benefits page to discover the other ways to benefit.

Save money on fuel costs with WEX

Checkatrade members can get a free FREE Esso Card™

Find out how


What are fuel additives?

Fuel additives are added to your fuel tank after filling up. They offer better fuel efficiency, help to keep your engine running smoothly, and reduce harmful emissions. Check what additive is right, but they can be a great way to reduce fuel consumption

How do you save money on fuel?

The best way to save money on company fuel is to use a fuel card.

How do you save fuel when driving?

Getting to grips with our 5 fuel-efficient driving techniques could help reduce your costs. Even if its only a little, when you use your van all year, it all adds up.

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Enjoy more leads and increase your revenue - starting today!

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Content disclaimer: This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer here.

†£156 a year saving based on 1 van filling up with 60 litres of diesel a week, over 1 year and up to a 5p saving per litre. See General Terms and Conditions of Card Use – Checkatrade for more information.

††Source: The U.S. Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada.

*Esso Synergy Diesel Claims based on (1) internal or third party vehicle engine testing; and/or (2) government publications; and/or (3) industry or scientific literature. Testing based on diesel vehicles purchased on the UK used car market and independently tested at Mahle, UK. Fuel economy was assessed in the condition vehicles were received. Testing occurred over 4000 km using Esso Synergy Diesel and the average increase in fuel economy in the cars tested was 1.8%. Benefits may vary depending on factors such as engine type, engine condition, driving style, and diesel previously used.  **Esso Synergy Supreme+ claims based on (1) internal or third party vehicle engine testing; and/or (2) government publications; and/or (3) industry or scientific literature. Esso Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded Petrol has a new formula and double additive treat rate, compared to Esso Synergy Unleaded Petrol. Check manufacturer’s guidance on octane requirements. Benefits may vary depending on factors such as engine type, driving style, and petrol previously used. Esso Synergy Supreme+ fuels are available at selected Esso service stations only. ***International Energy Agency. ****European Commission. †Terms and conditions apply; please see the website for more details.

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