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Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 13:53 UK

'100 fuel save' for best parkers

Can changing the way you park save you money?

Reversing into your parking space could save you 100 a year, according to the calculations of one motoring expert.

Tim Shallcross from the Institute of Advanced Motorists says manoeuvring a car when you arrive and the engine is warm is more efficient and saves fuel.

Drivers are urged to park facing the right way out and avoid the need for reversings and turns when setting off.

He said: "When an engine is cold it takes a huge amount of petrol to get it started up."

Motorists are encouraged to save a little money by completing their more complicated manoeuvres when they park their car, rather than when they first drive off.

With petrol prices at current levels someone driving an average petrol car could save about 2 a week.

We asked motorists in Caerphilly if they were trying to save money on fuel

But the tip only works for cars using petrol engines, not diesel.

Mr Shallcross, the head of policy in Wales for the Institute of Advanced Motorists said that reversing out of a space when the car's engine is cold uses around 20 to 25 times more petrol in the first few seconds than it does when warm.

An average five year old car takes a minute and a half for the engine to warm up fully.

He said: "If you do that 10 or 12 times a week, it adds up to about 100 a year."

"It's using a fraction of what it's using when its cold."

Jo Abbott from the RAC Foundation said it did not have any research of it own on the matter.

SAVE FUEL, SAVE MONEY
Check tyres are correctly inflated at least once a week
Plan your route and try to travel at off-peak times
Avoid short, inefficient journeys of less than two miles
Have your vehicle serviced regularly
Read the road ahead to avoid sudden breaking
Source: Institute of Advanced Motorists

But she said: "Anything that reduces fuel consumption is welcome since motorists are paying an enormous cost in fuel at the present time."

"Secondly there are obvious safety advantages to have by reversing into a parking space."

"The Highway Code advises when using a driveway to reverse in and drive out if you can."

More tips for saving money when driving include removing roof-top storage boxes when not in use.

According to Mr Shallcross, these can add 15 to 20% more fuel when driving on the motorway, even when the box is empty.

The Institute for Advanced Motorists also recommends using the car's vents instead of air conditioning or opening the windows.




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