Renting a car can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, whether you're traveling for business or pleasure. However, one of the biggest expenses associated with car rental is fuel. By taking steps to save on fuel costs, you can not only save money but also reduce their environmental impact. There are many ways to save on fuel when renting a car, including choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle, avoiding unnecessary idling, keeping windows closed at high speeds, packing lightly, using cruise control, and refueling at the cheapest station.

By implementing this 15 not-so-common, fuel-saving techniques, so you can save money and enjoy your travels in your rental car without worrying about breaking the bank.

Choose a fuel-efficient car

When renting a car, opt for a vehicle with good fuel economy to save money on fuel costs. The biggest advantage of car sharing, compared to car rental is that car owners list their vehicles on car rental platforms such as Drive lah as a way to earn additional income. We have noticed that they often take better care of their cars than traditional rental companies.

This is because they have a vested interest in maintaining their cars in good condition, as they rely on them to generate income. They are more likely to perform regular maintenance, keep the cars clean and ensure they are in good working order. Well-maintained cars naturally consume less fuel. 

ALSO READ: How To Select A Fuel-Efficient Car In Singapore For Car Sharing & Renting

Additionally, as the car owner is renting out their personal vehicle, they may be more cautious with renters and may have stricter rules in place to ensure the car is returned in the same condition it was rented out in. This can lead to a better overall experience for renters, as they can expect a well-maintained and clean vehicle.

Avoid unnecessary idling

When a car is idling, the engine is running but the car is not in motion. This means that fuel is being consumed without any real benefit. By turning off the engine when the car is idling, you can save fuel and money.

Keep your tires properly inflated

When tires are under-inflated, they create more rolling resistance. This means that the tires have to work harder to move the car, which can cause the engine to work harder and burn more fuel. Also, when tires are under-inflated, they can also generate more heat, which can cause more fuel to evaporate. By keeping your tires properly inflated, you can reduce the amount of rolling resistance, which can help improve the car's fuel efficiency.

Interesting insight to save money on fuel

Properly inflated tires can help reduce the car's fuel consumption by up to 3% which can be a significant amount in the long run.

Use the air conditioning sparingly

Using air conditioning sparingly can increase fuel efficiency in a car because it reduces the load on the engine. Air conditioning systems in cars consume power from the engine, which means that when the air conditioning is running, the engine has to work harder and burn more fuel to maintain the same speed. By turning off the air conditioning or using it only when necessary, you can reduce the load on the engine and improve the car's fuel efficiency.

Additionally, using the air conditioning sparingly can also reduce the amount of fuel used to power the air conditioning system itself. When you use it less, the system uses less fuel and you can save on fuel costs.

Drive lah tip

Reduce the load on the AC system by using the recirculation mode.  This uses the air inside the car rather than bringing in air from the outside. This allows you can use the AC without increasing fuel consumption.

 Use cruise control

Using cruise control can increase fuel efficiency in a car by helping you maintain a consistent speed. When driving at a consistent speed, the engine can operate at its most efficient level, which means it burns less fuel. With cruise control, you can set the desired speed and the car will automatically maintain that speed, reducing the need to manually accelerate and decelerate. 

Additionally, cruise control can also help you avoid speeding, which can also increase fuel consumption. By keeping the speed of the car steady, the car will use less fuel, making it more fuel efficient.

Pack lightly

Packing lightly can help increase fuel efficiency in a car because it reduces the weight of the vehicle. The more weight a car has to carry, the more fuel it will consume to move that weight. This is because the engine has to work harder to overcome the resistance of the additional weight and accelerate the car.

By packing lightly, you can reduce the weight of the vehicle and make it more fuel efficient. The lighter the vehicle, the less energy it takes to move it, which means the engine will use less fuel.

Use a fuel rewards program 

Some rental car companies offer fuel rewards programs that allow you to earn points or discounts on fuel purchases. At Drive lah, we have partnered with Shell and offer a 21% discount to all the car owners who have listed their cars on our platform. Unlike other credit cards that offer discounts, Shell’s offer is one of a kind because you will get the 21% discount upfront.

Avoid rush hour traffic 

Avoiding rush hour traffic can help increase fuel efficiency in a car because it reduces the amount of time the car spends idling or moving slowly in traffic. During rush hour, traffic is often heavy and moving at a slow pace, which means the car's engine is running but the car is not moving at its optimal speed.

This can cause the car to consume more fuel, as the engine is working harder to maintain a low speed. Additionally, when you drive in rush hour traffic, you may also encounter a lot of braking, accelerating, and stop-and-go driving which can cause the engine to work harder and consume more fuel.

By avoiding rush hour traffic, you can reduce the amount of time the car spends idling or moving slowly in traffic, which can help improve the car's fuel efficiency.

Keep windows closed at high speeds

Open windows in cars can cause more fuel consumption because of the effect of wind resistance or aerodynamic drag. When a car is moving at high speeds, the wind resistance against the open windows creates a force that opposes the motion of the car, which requires the car's engine to work harder and burn more fuel to maintain the same speed.

The faster the car is moving, the greater the wind resistance and the more fuel the car will consume. This is why it is more fuel efficient to keep the windows closed at high speed. Additionally, open windows can also cause turbulent air inside the car which increases the drag, causing the car to consume more fuel.

Return the car with a full tank

Many rental car companies charge a premium for refueling the car, so it's cheaper to return the car with a full tank of gas. With Drive lah, we offer two options based on the convenience of our guests. Fuel the car and return to the same level. In case you are running short of time, just pay for the fuel consumed on the Drive lah app and we will transfer the amount to the host. The fuel package plan of Drive lah will help you not only save time but also not worry about finding a fuel station at the last minute.

Plan your trips in advance

When you plan your trips in advance, you have the advantage to combine errands which can eventually reduce the amount of driving you need to do.

Opt for well-maintained cars

It is known that regular maintenance improves the car's fuel efficiency. When you choose a car sharing and car rental company like Drive lah, where cars are personally owned, there is a certain level of guarantee that the cars are taken care of and well-maintained. This is because car owners use the car for their needs in addition to listing it on our platform to earn additional revenue.

Drive at a steady pace

Driving at a steady pace can reduce fuel consumption because it allows the engine to operate at its most efficient level. When a car is driven at a consistent speed, the engine can maintain a steady RPM (revolutions per minute), which means it burns fuel in a more efficient manner. Sudden acceleration or braking can cause the engine to work harder and burn more fuel.

When you drive at a steady pace, you can also use the car's overdrive function which is a gear that allows the engine to run at a lower RPM, this in turn reduces fuel consumption.

Use the most efficient driving mode

Using the most efficient driving mode in the car, such as Eco mode on some cars, can increase fuel efficiency and reduce fuel costs. Eco mode, also known as fuel economy mode, is a setting that adjusts the car's systems to optimize fuel efficiency. It can do this by reducing the power of the air conditioning, limiting the power of the engine, and adjusting the transmission shifts to minimize fuel consumption. When the car is in Eco mode, the engine runs at a lower RPM, which can reduce the amount of fuel consumed.

Eco mode can also help to reduce the number of emissions produced by cars, which can have a positive impact on the environment.

It is important to note that the effects of Eco mode will vary depending on the car's make and model, and driving conditions. Additionally, using Eco mode will limit the car's performance and responsiveness, so it is important to consider this when deciding whether or not to use it.

Use a fuel-efficient route

Using a fuel-efficient route to reach your destination means choosing a route that is designed to minimize fuel consumption. This can be achieved by selecting a route that has the least amount of traffic, stop lights, and steep hills, as these factors can all increase fuel consumption. Additionally, a fuel-efficient route can also minimize the distance traveled, which can also help to reduce fuel consumption.

There are a number of ways to plan a fuel-efficient route, such as using a GPS navigation device that can provide multiple route options and choosing the one that is more fuel efficient. Another way is to use online maps and check for traffic conditions before setting out, this will help you avoid heavy traffic areas and choose the route that will consume less fuel.

When you use a fuel-efficient route, you can save money on fuel costs and also reduce the emissions produced by the car.

Remember, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to fuel efficiency, so take the time to consider the tips discussed in this blog and make the most of your rental car experience in Singapore with Drive lah.