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Top Tips for an Efficient Road Trip as Fuel Prices Rise Yet Again

Top Tips for an Efficient Road Trip as Fuel Prices Rise Yet Again
26 April 2024 Samantha Anderson
Camperdays Top Tips for an Efficient Road Trip as Fuel Prices Rise Yet Again RoosterPR

(Photo Credit: Kevin Schmid)

From vehicle choice, fuel options and even driving style, to packing and prepping the home ahead of departure, CamperDays expert provides a guide to keeping road trip spend in check this spring-summer.

A road trip can be an exciting, low-cost alternative to the traditional fly-and-flop, however, with fuel prices in the UK rising to 150p per litre – the highest recorded since last November – making the right destination choice, holiday prep and even adjusting your driving style can make all the difference if you’re looking to save some extra pounds.

Fluctuating oil prices, erratic driving styles and rookie packing techniques can all lead to higher costs, so knowing where you may fall foul is key to keeping costs down.

Max Schmidt, Chief Adventurer at CamperDays, Europe’s leading camper tour operator, shares his top tips for making your road trip more efficient.

Max says: “As a regular road tripper I need to know how I can save costs, and having taken dozens of trips in many countries around the world over the years I’m always learning new techniques.

“At CamperDays I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by likeminded motorists. We’ve spent many a work day exchanging the best tricks of the trade and hope these might prove useful for your next adventure.”

Max’s top tips for having an efficient road trip are below.

Find the cheapest petrol and diesel

Petrol pieces vary wildly all over the world due to a host of geopolitical reasons. The website GlobalPetrolPrices.com, as the name suggests, shares the cheapest petrol prices from around the world.

According to its data, popular hotspots such as the USA, Japan and Australia, where petrol prices range between 83p and 91.2p per litre, are the best destinations for getting the most bang for your buck.

Prices in Europe are unfortunately more expensive, with Spain, the UK, and France ranging between 143p and 162.4p per litre. You’ll find the dearest fuel prices in destinations such as the Netherlands (178.1p), Iceland (178.8p), Denmark (180.5p), Monaco (182p) and Hong Kong, at a whopping 256.3p.

RAC Fuel Watch monitors British wholesale and pump prices daily to point motorists towards the cheapest rates. Right now, Tesco offers on average the cheapest supermarket petrol, while drivers can also secure good deals on petrol at Essar and Applegreen.

Early in the morning or late at night is the best time to buy fuel as prices tend to be cheaper at these times. This is because fuel pumps dispense volume-calibrated fuel, meaning you actually gain more petrol and therefore get a fraction more for your money in colder climes.

Pack light to keep your budget heavy

With the absence of luggage restrictions, there’s a tendency to overpack on a road trip, but just because you can pack your life into a campervan, doesn’t mean you should. Lower weight undoubtedly reduces fuel burn, leading to savings.

Other ways to reduce weight in a campervan is to keep the fresh water tank as low as possible while driving. Fresh water is readily available at campsites and service stations for regular top ups as required.

Adopt efficient driving techniques

You may be surprised to learn that your driving style can have an impact on fuel usage. To avoid burning through too much fuel, driving with foresight and avoiding unnecessary acceleration and sudden braking are good practices, as is driving with optimal tyre pressure to ensure low rolling resistance. When accelerating, do this quickly and then try to keep cruising speed as constant as possible.

Know when to switch on the air conditioning

Turning on the air conditioning when natural air is readily available outside seems counterproductive, but rolling the windows down doesn’t always lead to savings.

At fast speeds, such as when driving on the motorway, driving with the windows open causes drag. Put simply, it puts more pressure on the engine to keep the vehicle going, eating unnecessarily into the fuel reserves. Keep windows and doors shut and AC on moderate to strike the right balance between comfort and efficiency.

At slower speeds, however, it’s advised to switch off the AC and roll the windows down, allowing a slow and steady breeze to pass through the vehicle. When parked, keep the vehicle cool enough by opting for a pitch in the shade and use thermal windscreen and window covers.

Hot vehicles are especially dangerous for children and pets, so regardless of whether you’re using AC or fresh air, ventilation is a must.

As you’ll inevitably spend a lot of time in the vehicle on a road trip, it’s always advisable to choose your destination or holiday dates carefully to avoid travel during peak summer months when high temperatures can become a nuisance or a hazard.

It’s not just what you do on the road

Making those little changes on the road is all well and good, but if your TV and computer are at home sitting on standby, you risk wasting money daily. Fully power off televisions, computers, washing machines and chargers at home, and consider emptying out and fully defrosting the fridge freezer on longer trips.

Choose your vehicle wisely

The good thing about not owning your own campervan is that you have a lot of options to choose from when booking with vehicle rental providers. Due to a growing demand for sustainable vehicles, modern campervan and motorhome models are more efficient with regards to fuel consumption and many European providers now only offer fleets with vehicles no older than two years old, so it’s well worth doing your research on rental companies.

Once you’re happy with the provider, staff onsite or via online customer support channels will be able to guide you towards the most sustainable vehicle choices.

For more information, visit the website: https://www.camperdays.co.uk/

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:
Head of CamperDays and Chief Adventurer, Max Schmidt, is available for interview or comment upon request.

For further press information, please contact:
Will Challis | Olivia Hazelden-Kingdon | Elsa Findlay
Rooster.
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

About CamperDays:
Launched in Germany in 2013, CamperDays is Europe’s leading camper tour operator, working with 150 partners in over 700 locations globally.

CamperDays facilitates access to over 35,500 vehicles available for rent worldwide, including in the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Canada and South Africa. The platform allows customers to choose from a selection of trusted providers globally via an easy three step booking process, with rentals available from just £70 per day.

Since it was launched, CamperDays customers have booked over 1,000,000 nights in vehicles rented through the site. CamperDays provides access to a broad selection of campervans and motorhomes catering to every type of traveller, with transparent pricing and no hidden costs. All vehicles come with insurance, with excess, as standard, to allow renters a truly carefree holiday.

For more information or to make a booking, visit the website: www.camperdays.co.uk.