There are many things you need to consider when buying a car. How far can you realistically stretch your budget? Do you want to apply for car finance? What style of car do you want? What do you need your car to do?
But one question you should also consider is how good your car’s MPG is. A good MPG and fuel efficiency are vital if you want to save as much money as possible on fuel. Given the current rising fuel prices at the time of writing, this is more important than ever.
So, this begs the question, what is MPG, and how much of your purchasing decision should be based on a car’s MPG over other factors? And are there any techniques you can use to improve the fuel efficiency of your driving?
To help you answer all these questions, we’re breaking down what MPG is, how you can calculate it, and what you can do to drive more efficiently in the future and save yourself money on the cost of fuel.
What does MPG mean?
MPG stands for miles per gallon and shows how far a vehicle will travel on a single gallon of fuel. This will give you an idea of your vehicle's range and how far you can go on a single tank of fuel before it runs out.
What is MPG for cars?
When it comes to MPG for cars, this specifically refers to how many miles a car will travel on a standard road for every gallon of fuel in its tank. The bigger the tank and MPG, the further your car can go before needing a refill.
What is a good MPG?
When determining what a good MPG is, we need to look specifically at fuel consumption. Fuel consumption refers to how much fuel your car will use up before it runs out. The better the fuel consumption, the less fuel you use while driving.
So, a good MPG is going to be one that travels far on a single gallon. An MPG of 40-50 is considered good, but as a general rule of thumb, the higher the number the better.
And a higher MPG doesn’t just give you the benefit of using less fuel; it also means your car is better for the environment and you save money by refilling your car less often.
If you want to find your car’s suggested MPG, you should look for it in its brochure or online. Some cars even have the MPG displayed on the dashboard when you start the engine.
How to work out MPG?
The method for working out MPG is rather complex, so we’ll provide a simple overview. Currently, all UK cars are tested using the WLPT (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure). These tests are conducted under strict lab conditions designed to recreate real-life driving scenarios in a variety of different locations.
These areas will all give different MPG results, and together, they can be used to provide an average MPG for a vehicle. As for the areas these cars are simulated in, examples include:
· Low-speed zones, such as cities
· Medium-speed zones, such as suburbs
· High-speed zones, such as rural areas
· Extremely high-speed zones, such as motorways
The resulting figures from these tests are combined after the final test and then divided by the number of results, to provide the overall average MPG of the vehicle in question.
However, one thing to bear in mind with these MPG results is that, while accurate, they’re not exact. Similar car models will have different MPG variations depending on additional features that affect weight and aerodynamics, which increase engine strain and fuel consumption.
These suggested MPGs will also not reflect real-world MPG. They might be very close simulations, but they can’t account for every environmental condition and the effects of traffic. Generally speaking, the MPG you see is usually 5% higher than what it actually is.
How to work out MPG for your own car
While not as accurate as the official tests, if you want to give yourself a vague idea of your car’s MPG, you can do so easily. Simply refill your tank to full, set your trip counter to 0, and start driving.
Once you’ve completed your journey, note the trip counter and the amount of fuel you’ve used. Divide the miles by the fuel and then times the result by 4.546 (the number of litres in a gallon) to get the MPG. You can then repeat this several times for greater accuracy.
While researching MPG, you may also have seen the term L/100KM used. This is the European equivalent of MPG and refers to litres per 100KM. So, in this case, the lower the number, the better your efficiency.
When it comes to buying a car, MPG is a very important factor to consider. But what’s also important is how you intend to pay for your new car. Not everyone can afford to pay for a car straight-up, which is why you might want to consider car finance as a payment option.
Car finance lets you pay for your car in monthly instalments before taking ownership at the end of the contract should you want to. Hire purchase finance and PCP finance are very popular, while we also offer bad credit car finance for those that need it.
Get in touch with our team of experts today and we’ll answer any questions you might have. And don’t forget to visit the Zuto blog for more in-depth and informative articles like this one.