The economical driving myth gremlin 

You’ve heard it too, haven’t you. It crawls into your ear during traffic jams. It haunts you in the shower. It scrapes around in that drawer you keep your keys in. Once, it tapped you on the shoulder and scuttled away before you could really turn around. But you saw it. Oohhh, you saw it. And it was the scariest thing your eyes have ever dealt with, bar the fight scene in Daddy’s Home 2. The economical driving myth gremlin haunts all of us, and its propaganda causes thousands of people across the country to waste money on stupid stuff.

It’s time to shut him up once and for all. It’s time to kick him straight in his stupid, stupid face. It’s time to bust the four biggest myths about driving economically.

1) Turning your car on and off at traffic lights doesn’t save fuel

‘Nobody does this anyway!’ you cry. But we ignore you, because we know several people who do this. Honest. It’s a trend that started off with the advent of stop/start technology, which automatically turns your engine off while you’re stationary, and switches it back on when you’re ready to go again. Now, if your car is fitted with stop/start, there’s good news – it’s probably saving you 3-12% on your fuel bills*. But if it isn’t, turning your car off and on manually won’t save you anything. In fact, over time, the AA say it could damage your engine. And as far as car bits go, the engine is a pretty big deal.

2) Using your air conditioning isn’t free

People are always going on about this one. ‘Ooo, I can’t wait to bask in my free air conditioning. I’m going to let my hair flow back like Natalie Imbruglia circa 2001.’ Well hold your horses, Dave, because not only could you never hope to match Natalie’s emotional depth, but your air conditioning isn’t free. Studies like this one have shown that it decreases tank mileage by 5-10%. So if you’re still Torn about using your AC freely, you’ve got the Wrong Impression.

3) Manual cars aren’t just a bit more economical

You’ve probably heard that on balance, with everything said and done, once you’ve taken wind-speed into account, manual engines are slightly more economical than automatic ones. But that’s a dirty lie – because the difference is way more clear-cut than that. According to clever science people**, a manual engine can stretch your petrol 2-5 mpg further, and slash a car's running costs by £593.01-£889 a year. That’s a whole lot of money for a bit of gear stick shifting. Congratulations – you’re now rich beyond your wildest dreams.

4) Posh petrol isn’t more expensive

If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent many a night dreaming about blessing your car with premium petrol. In this nightly haze people gasp and flock as you reach for the slightly fancier pump to the right, marked ‘Super Deluxe Premium Unleaded’. And from Slough to Reading, the people whisper your name, holding it up as a symbol of success and luxury. Well dream no longer – because it turns out that premium petrol is actually cheaper than the bog-standard stuff. Because of its higher octane rating, premium unleaded petrol burns more efficiently – delivering more power for less fuel.

And with that, the economical driving myth gremlin fled over the hills, blasting the air-con in his automatic, standard-petrol guzzling Mondeo, never to be seen again. We hope you’ll join everyone here at Citygate in saying ‘good riddance, you silly, silly gremlin.’

At Citygate, we’ve got a range of vehicles that help you drive more economically – including hybrids and cars with stop/start technology. Find your local dealership and book a test-drive today.

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