With petrol prices expected to go up by 9p a litre in 2017, after the 14 members of OPEC agreed to cut oil production for the first time in eight years, we've come up with five easy ways to help keep your fuel costs down...

1. Watch how you drive

Cutting down on the amount you drive is an easy way to reduce the amount you spend on fuel. But it’s not always possible. 

Instead, think about changing your driving technique.

The best way to do this is to avoid heaving braking, harsh accelerating and excessive speed. Driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph, and 15% more than driving at 50mph.

Being in the wrong gear and straining the engine will also use up more fuel.

2. Check the tyres

Carry out a weekly or fortnightly tyre check to make sure your tyres are pumped up to the correct pressure (your car’s manual can help with this). A drop in tyre pressure of just 0.4 bar, or six PSI, can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

3. Turn off the air-con

Try to avoid using air-con wherever possible as this can increase fuel consumption by as much as 25%, according to the National Energy Foundation.

It’s more efficient to open the car windows instead – unless you’re travelling at more than 60mph, when the drag created is so high that it’s better to turn on the air-con.

4. Get rid of excess weight

Needlessly carrying around items in your boot and having a roof rack will mean you use more fuel. In fact, for every extra 25kg in weight your car is carrying, fuel consumption will rise by 1%.

So check what’s in your car before you set off and remove anything you don’t need.

5. Hunt out cheaper fuel – with care

How much you pay when you fill up depends on which petrol station you use, so it makes sense to shop around. Petrolprices.com is a useful website for helping you to compare prices at forecourts near you.

But if you’re driving out of your way to a cheaper petrol station, you could actually spend more money getting there than you save at the pump.

It’s therefore worth using our handy fuel cost calculator which will help you to work out if your search for cheaper fuel is actually costing you more.

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