Is your car your pride and joy, or are you ready for a change? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

How to: Improve your economy

No matter what car you own, chances are you’re not matching the official ‘combined cycle’ economy figure quoted by the manufacturer. It’s no new thing, but it’s unlikely to change any time soon because it’s the only figure manufacturers are allowed to quote, due to EU regulations.

The official figure is calculated in lab conditions and is geared towards finding out CO2 emissions for tax purposes. That’s why we launched Real MPG – it gives owners a chance to feedback their real fuel economy findings and to compare their cars’ performance to an average of other owners’.

But regardless of how well your car is performing or what the Real MPG figure for it is, the most important thing when it comes to fuel economy is the way you drive. No amount of stop/start, cruise control, low-rolling resistance tyres or aerodynamic design will help if you drive in an eco-unfriendly way.

So what can you do to maximise your cars economy and what simple, easy tips can you apply to your everyday commute to travel a few extra miles per gallon? We’ve been experimenting to see just how much fuel a driver can save and which economy tips are practical in everyday use.

The car selected for this experiment might not seem an obvious choice – the 280PS Vauxhall Astra VXR is known for its outright performance, but its official economy figure of 34.9mpg isn’t exactly world-beating. However, if we can score a decent run in this there’s a good chance it can be done in something more frugal.

All the driving took place on the 50-mile route on the map below – it covers twisting B-roads, long, fast A-roads, motorways and a small amount of town centre driving. 

Page 2 >>


Add a comment


Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £8,930.17

Total cost of credit £1,430.17


48 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

Borrowing £7,500 over 4 years with a representative APR of 25.4%, an annual interest rate of 25.4% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £239.77 per month, with a total cost of credit of £4,008.96 and a total amount payable of £11,508.96.

CarFinance 247 Limited is acting as an independent credit broker

Universal Square, Devonshire Street North, Manchester, M12 6JH