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How to drive a hybrid car for the best fuel economy

Hybrids are a great way to cut your fuel consumption and be kinder to the planet, but you can also save money using our driving tips

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Make the most out of your hybrid car – the best hybrid miles per gallon (mpg)

Hybrid cars will respond well to the economical driving tips that benefit all kinds of cars, but there are some hybrid-specific techniques that you can use to really get the most out of your car:  

  • Use your electric driving mode as much as possible, depending on how much electric power your hybrid car can offer. Some models have a higher electric mile range than others, but you should aim to use your electric power as much as possible to get the best fuel economy.  

  • Brake gently and early to use your regenerative braking system to build your energy stores back up. This means you can power up as you drive, and use your electric mode for longer.  

  • Cut down on systems like air-con and heaters to use less power.  

  • Don’t sit in neutral gear in start/stop traffic – electricity will not be generated and the hybrid battery will discharge power.  

  • Accelerate gently and stick to the speed limit to get the most out of your electric drive mode.  

  • Use cruise control to maintain a steady speed and reduce running costs.  

How to drive efficiently for the best fuel economy – the basics 

Learning how to drive efficiently is essential for improving fuel economy and your mpg.  

There are a few things that you can do to ensure you’re getting the most out of each tank and reducing how many times you’re filling up.  

1) Keep up on car maintenance  

Keeping your car in the best possible condition will help it run at its best, and this is especially true when it comes to tyres.  

Check your car manual and make sure that your tyre pressure is in line with the requirements for your car and the driving conditions, and this will help you run more efficiently.  

2) Reduce drag

You want your car to be as streamlined as possible to ensure there is no drag that will hold it back, forcing your car to burn through more fuel and power.  

Keeping your sunroof and windows closed will help remove drag, as this can really hold you back when you start to move into higher speeds.  

A good rule of thumb is that windows and roofs should be closed when you’re driving more than 45mph.  

3) Travel light

If you fill your car to the brim and stack the roof with roof racks and boxes, it’ll take more power and fuel to get moving. The lighter your vehicle, the more efficient it will be – so you can save fuel if you pack light.  

This includes in the boot too, so have a sort through it and get rid of any unnecessary baggage. Simple things like removing the pushchair if you don’t need it that day can really help preserve power.  

4) Smooth and steady

Keep to the speed limit and maintain a steady speed while avoiding any sudden braking or acceleration.  

If you keep an eye on the road ahead and anticipate needing to slow down or speed up, you should be able to react in enough time to avoid working your car too hard.  

Sticking to the highest gear possible for the speed limit will also help preserve power and be more efficient.  

Your vehicle will work its hardest at lower gears as it’s primed for moving away and accelerating, so settling into a high gear at a steady speed is much more efficient.  

Learn more about economical driving: