The IAM welcomes calls to scrap the proposed four pence fuel duty increases which are scheduled for January and August 2012. But motorists can also reduce the amount of fuel they use by altering the way they drive.

    IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “For millions of motorists driving is a necessity, not a luxury. Rural drivers especially need their cars for work, socialising and family life.

    “Don’t wait for the chancellor to reduce the cost of driving, do it yourself. The way you drive has a big impact on the amount of fuel you use. If you slow down and leave more of a gap between you and other vehicles, you won’t need to accelerate and brake so much. That’s two easy ways to improve your miles per gallon by up to 15 per cent.”

    How to improve your miles per gallon and cut carbon:

    • Keep moving rather than stopping and starting. Look further ahead and slow down earlier to avoid stopping. Driving at a constant speed is far more fuel efficient than heavy accelerating and braking.
    • Check your tyres. Under-inflated tyres have a big impact on fuel economy.
    • Put your car on a diet. Remove unnecessary weight, including roof racks, car clutter and heavy items in the boot.
    • Try to avoid using air conditioning and climate control at low speeds as they increase fuel consumption. Open a window instead.  At high speeds, close your windows to maintain the aerodynamics of the car. Use air-con to get the car to a comfortable temperature, and then turn it off to save fuel.
    • Clean screens rarely mist up, so you’ll use the heater and air-conditioning less.
    • Try changing up your gears earlier; for petrol engines at 2,500 rpm (revs per minute), and diesel engines 2,000 rpm.
    • Reverse into parking bays: manoeuvring with a cold engine uses more fuel, so make the most of having a hot engine.
    • It will take most cars at least a couple of miles to warm up and run efficiently. Could you walk or cycle?
    • Drive at an even pace over speed humps. Slowing down and speeding up drinks more fuel.
    • Stick to the speed limit. The faster you go, the more fuel you use.