What is hypermiling – can it save your fleet money?

10th June 2022

What is hypermiling?

Many businesses with fleets of vehicles will be feeling the bite of current fuel prices, which have been rising drastically since the start of 2022. Fleet managers will be looking for ways to make every drop of fuel take their vehicles a little further. One possible solution to this problem is hypermiling.

What is hypermiling?

Hypermiling is a term used to describe techniques that drivers can use to increase MPG. It is suggested that, by using these techniques, you could boost your MPG by around 40%. In a time when drivers may dread their journey to a fuelling station, getting an additional 40% MPG from every tank of fuel could seriously keep costs down. It is however a controversial set of techniques, as concentrating too hard on keeping fuel consumption low can make drivers less aware of the road.

What are some hypermiling techniques?

Additional miles per gallon sounds great, but how exactly can you achieve this?

Ask yourself whether the drive is necessary

For most fleets, driving isn’t optional. However, for smaller, local businesses, it could be worth considering. Could the 5 minute drive be replaced by a 20 minute walk or a 10 minute cycle? Efficiency is obviously key for businesses, but could the money saved from not driving negate this small loss of productivity?

Maintain a sensible speed

A general reduction of 20mph can have huge benefits for your MPG. Of course, this is quite extreme – you’d end up driving too slowly in some places. However, it’s worth remembering. Perhaps driving at 60mph instead of 70mph on a motorway would make a lot of difference and keep the fuel in your vehicle for longer.

When you need to speed up, be gentle with your accelerator – don’t put too much strain on your engine.

Anticipate the road ahead

Stopping and starting frequently means more fuel is consumed. Therefore, hypermilers try to avoid stopping as much as possible. If you see a build up of traffic ahead, begin slowing. Take your foot off the accelerator and apply a gentle brake if necessary. There’s a chance the traffic will have cleared by the time you reach it, meaning you won’t have to stop at all.

Drivers who follow these techniques might also plan their journeys to avoid roads where stopping is guaranteed. If you can avoid taking a route where you’ll have to stop at multiple junctions, and instead take a route that follows a steady flow of traffic, this is likely to be favourable for your fuel economy.

Drive behind other vehicles

This technique certainly brings considerations about safety to the forefront of the discussion, which we’ll talk about in a moment. Keen hypermilers will try their best to drive behind other vehicles as often as possible. This is because, when a vehicle moves, it displaces the air it is travelling through. That means any vehicle behind will face less air resistance, meaning they don’t have to push their vehicles as hard.

This technique is referred to as “drafting”, and it’s even used by racing drivers to gain advantage over the cars ahead of them.

This is a very controversial practice. It’s argued that when a driver focuses on drafting they lose awareness on the rest of the road. If you are going to do this, make sure to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead. Failure to keep a safe distance could actually see you getting fined.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

A badly maintained vehicle is a less efficient vehicle. Make sure your tyre pressure is adequate and your oil levels are topped up. A regular service is key to ensuring your vehicles are efficient. For HGVs, daily walkaround checks should be carried out to ensure that your vehicle is maintained well, so you can focus on the driving.

For cost effective vehicle servicing with discounts at selected garages, take a look at MyService.Expert .We have pre-negotiated rates at thousands of main dealer and independent garages nationwide. And it’s pay-as-you-go!

Reduce the weight in your vehicle

This is another one that may not be possible for certain drivers if deliveries are being made. However, it’s a well known fact that the less weight in your vehicle, the less fuel is consumed. Are you carrying unnecessary items in the boot of your car for example? Removing them could improve your MPG.

Is hypermiling safe?

It can definitely be argued that some of these techniques aren’t safe. Travelling at slow speeds can in fact be more dangerous on some roads. You’ll also not win the respect of many other drivers on the road who might be stuck behind you as you maintain a moderate speed.

Remember that following the laws of the road is more important than saving fuel, as failure to do so could cost lives. Only use hypermiling techniques when it is safe to do so – do not put yourself and other road users in danger.

How else can fleets save money?

As mentioned, hypermiling might not be the safest or most popular way to improve your MPG, but there are other ways to save on fuel costs!

One of the best ways for fleets to save money is by getting a fuel card!

With a fuel card, you could see discounts of up to 10p per litre. You’ll also save a great deal of time with HMRC approved invoices – no more holding on to receipts!

Get in touch today to find out more about fuel cards – the smart way to manage your fuel and fleet costs.