The Ultimate Fuel Economy Guide

2nd Apr 2021

The Ultimate Fuel Economy Guide

High speeds and sporty trims might be pretty big selling points for lease cars, but one of the biggest deal-breakers is fuel economy. Whether it’s for long journeys or inner-city commuting, we all want the assurance that we’re not going to be wasting money on fuel.

What is fuel economy?

Fuel economy is a calculation to determine how much fuel is used relative to the miles you travel. Of course, many things will affect the average fuel economy of a car, for example motorway driving versus city driving, slightly deflated tyres, or heavy loads. However, when looking for a lease car, you should notice a standard measure of fuel economy – usually listed at MPG (imperial – miles per gallon of fuel) or km/L (metric – kilometres per litre). The higher the value, for example 45 versus 30 MPG, the better fuel economy the car has.
As petrol and diesel prices fluctuate, we all want to choose a car that gets the biggest number of miles in a full tank.

Electric and hybrid cars

Complicating things even further is the advent of electric or hybrid cars. In electric cars, fuel economy is known as EPA or MPGe. This is a measure of kilowatt hours per 100 miles – that is, how long the battery will last.
Hybrid cars use both measurements – the standard MPG or km/L for the fossil fuel, and the kilowatt hours.

What is good fuel economy?

While there’s no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes ‘good’ fuel economy, modern cars have improved. Twenty years ago, cars would have generally managed around seven litres per 100km, or 35-40MPG. Today, this figure is closer to five and a half litres, or 50-55MPG.
Generally, anything measuring six litres or fewer per 100km (47MPG) is considered good fuel economy.

Calculating your true fuel economy

You can take the manufacturer’s specs as gospel, or you could measure it yourself. For best results, try this test a few times with different journey types e.g. motorways and city driving, then calculate an average:

  1. Fill your tank and reset the mile counter to zero.
  2. When you get to empty, note how many miles you drove.
  3. Fill the tank and note how many litres you put in.
  4. Divide the number of miles by the amount of fuel in litres for km/L.
  5. Multiply this by 4.544 for MPG.

What are the benefits of leasing an economical car?

By choosing an economical car, you’re not just cutting down on fuel costs. You’re also helping by reducing pollution and smog, which can be as much as 50% lower in efficient cars.

Likewise, efficient cars will often have lower emissions, resulting in lower road or Benefit in Kind tax.

How can I improve my fuel economy?

Even if you lease the most efficient car, there are still best practices you can follow, including:

  • • Keep tyres inflated to the optimum pressure
  • • Avoid heavy loads
  • • Avoid harsh acceleration
  • • Keep windows closed
  • • Move through the gears smoothly – listen to the engine.

At Car Lease Agent, we’re always updating our economical cars to offer the best lease deals possible. Contact us to choose a fuel-efficient car today.