The increases in VAT and fuel duty earlier this month have put more strain on the thousands of British businesses which are reliant on vans. As if this wasn’t enough, another duty rise is scheduled for April. Chances of a respite from further increases in the price of diesel and petrol are slim, but there are a few steps you can take to minimise the amount of fuel you use.
Check your tyre pressure
If your tyres aren't properly pumped up, they generate more resistance, meaning your van’s engine needs to work harder. Make sure that they’re at the manufacturers recommended pressure, usually measured in Psi (pounds per square inch).
Carrying superfluous stuff in your van can add to its weight, which will make its consumption lower. Chances are that your van will be laden with items most days, but regular clear-outs of rubbish and debris will make a difference.
Think about your in-van equipment
It’s easy to reach for the air conditioning – standard issue in all but the most basic specification vans these days – when the temperature rises or falls. But switching it on will sap a surprising amount of fuel, as will your heated rear screen and window demisters. Use them only when you really need to.
Change your driving style
If you have an ‘enthusiastic’ driving style and are prone to subjecting your engine to high revs and sudden, harsh braking, you’ll probably have greater levels of fuel consumption that somebody who has a smoother approach.
Observe speed limits
The speed limits aren’t just there for road safety. If you drive at 80 mph, ten miles over the limit of most of Britain’s motorways, the Department for Transport estimates that you’ll burn 25 per cent more fuel than if you drove at 70 mph. If you stick to driving at 60 mph you could save a further 9 per cent of diesel or petrol.
Make sure your van is well maintained
If your van is in top working condition, it will have a big impact on the amount of fuel you use. Ensure that you have it serviced regularly, have a decent amount of engine oil and make sure that the tracking of the wheels is correctly aligned.