Is it more economical to fill up your tank? A closer look at fuel economy

The rising cost of fuel, energy and raw materials is pushing businesses to search for easy and alternative ways that they can reduce their costs. Fuel can be a large expenditure for many businesses, especially those with a fleet of vehicles. In this article we look at fuel economy, filling up your tank and how to save money by driving to conserve fuel.

Filling up your tank

Does filling up your tank each time you visit the petrol station improve fuel economy? This may sound like a question with an obvious answer but there are a few things to take into consideration. We delve into the detail to give you the answer and advice to pass onto your drivers.

Fewer visits to the petrol station

Filling up your tank to the top each time you visit a petrol station means fewer visits to the forecourt, this essentially results in less miles driven. Your business could save money if your drivers fill up each time as they will be making fewer trips and therefore driving less miles. However, this depends on how far away the petrol station is to your driver’s regular route or business location, if it is on the way then there will be no extra miles driven.

Less chance for tank condensation

Tank condensation occurs when there is a temperature difference between the fuel in the tank and the air outside. This causes condensation to form which can make its way into the fuel pipes. Condensation can cause performance issues and result in a reduction in fuel efficiency. This is typically only an issue in older vehicles as newer vehicles have better, fully sealed fuel tanks. However, keeping drivers tanks full reduces the space for condensation to form, so you are less likely to have issues with water in the fuel tank.

The weight of a full tank

A full tank of fuel weighs more, driving round with additional weight in a car or van will reduce fuel economy. However, the fuel in the tank only weighs a very small percentage of the overall car or van weight, an average of around 5%. Filling up a tank halfway compared to a full tank of fuel only reduces the weight by 2.5%. At this level it is likely to make very little difference on the vehicle fuel economy.

The result

We suggest if your drivers are regularly driving to advise them to fill the tank all the way to the top when they visit a petrol station. They will save time and won’t need to make as many trips. The difference in weight that the fuel makes on the vehicle is very minor, therefore it is better to save time and mileage by filling up each time.  

If you haven’t downloaded our app already it’s a great tool for your drivers to find their nearest fuelGenie eligible petrol station. They can also compare the price between fuelGenie eligible stations and there are some great benefits for fuel card managers too. Get the fuelGenie app or find out more about the benefits.


Tips to improve fuel economy.

We have some tips to help your drivers improve their fuel economy and stretch their petrol or diesel that extra mile or two.

  • Check tyre pressure regularly, under inflated tyres can have a huge impact on fuel economy by up to 2.5%
  • Remove excess weight – take out any unnecessary tools, equipment, passengers, or stock that is not required for the journey
  • Reduce aircon, heated windscreens and any other electrical usage as much as possible
  • Gentle acceleration, braking and changing gear early. Avoid sudden acceleration and sudden braking
  • Avoid idling and use vehicle stop/start technology where possible. If waiting for an extended period of time, consider turning off the engine
  • Anticipate the road conditions and keep moving where possible. Avoiding coming to a complete stop will help save fuel
  • Regularly service vehicles and keep up with any maintenance such as topping up oil, water coolant and other fluids

Drivers should be advised and trained on the best way to operate their vehicles in order to conserve fuel. You can easily view your driver fuel expenditure using your fuelGenie online account. Having full visibility of the fuel purchased and how many miles drivers are doing will give you a clearer picture of any areas where fuel economy could be improved.

And remember by using fuelGenie you are already directing drivers to fill up with fuel that is on average 3p per litre* cheaper than other petrol stations. Encourage drivers where possible to use their fuelGenie fuel card.



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