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Australians want fuel efficiency first

fuel efficiency gauge

When Australians are buying a car, what is the biggest factor in their minds? You might think it is power, but 80% of buyers make fuel efficiency their top priority. A survey commissioned by Ford in 11 Asian countries found 29% of Australian buyers who end up choosing a powerful car regret they didn’t pick a more fuel efficient one.

Most Australian buyers said they were looking for fuel economy because of:

  • The need to save money
  • High fuel prices
  • Interest in being more environmentally friendly.

While fuel efficiency was their first priority, more than half said they consider power a major factor when buying a new car. This was particularly the case for city residents, compared to people living in the suburbs.

Given these figures, it may be surprising that many respondents did not know how to drive their vehicles in a fuel efficient way. According to Ford, nearly a third had no idea that harsh braking and acceleration affects fuel economy and around 40% did not know driving on hilly terrain uses more fuel.

Our table shows you simple ways of being more fuel efficient:

  Saves fuel

Uses fuel

Regular maintenance Lack of regular care or servicing
Properly inflated tyres Idling the engine more than necessary
Cruise control Hilly terrain
Steady driving Harsh acceleration and braking
Going 20kmh slower on freeway Heavy items, eg, roof racks, tools
Air conditioning above 50kmh Windows down at high speeds
Proper wheel alignment Cold and hot weather
Doing all your trips in one Peak hour travel

Another way to save fuel, if possible, is to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Drivers currently pay petrol excise according to the fuel efficiency of their cars.

Our blog, Australians care about car emissions, notes record sales of fuel-efficient, low emission vehicles in 2015. It was the biggest jump in sales ever reported (since 2004) by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

Running a car is relatively expensive in NSW, whether it has fuel efficiency or not, so always do a greenslip comparison.

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Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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