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Smarter driving saves Costessey family cash

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:30 01 July 2010

Tara Greaves

A family from Costessey who have been taking part in a greener driving competition have managed to cut their fuel bill by 27pc in just six weeks.

A family from Costessey who have been taking part in a greener driving competition have managed to cut their fuel bill by 27pc in just six weeks.

By taking simple measures such as keeping their tyres at the right pressure and walking short journeys instead of taking the car, Satpal and Jasvinder Matharoo, of Poethlyn Drive, and 10 other families have made an average potential saving of £310 a year.

As part of the Shell Smarter Drivers experiment - launched to better understand how fuel savings can be made by real families undertaking every day journeys, the Matharoo family also enjoyed a green driving course.

Mr Matharoo, 35, a telecomms consultant, said: “We were astonished to see how much we could save by making simple changes to the way we drive and travel. We have changed our behaviour without needing to revolutionise our lifestyle. We encourage other families to follow the Shell Smarter Drivers tips - they really do make a big difference and once you start doing things like driving more smoothly they become second nature.”

Using in-car telemetry technology, participants' journeys were recorded during a six week period.

The results, monitored by leading sustainability think tank Forum for the Future, showed that by changing behaviour in two areas - driving in a fuel efficient manner and local journey planning - families can achieve significant savings on their petrol bills.

One family showed that it was possible to reduce fuel bills by up to 62pc, the equivalent of a potential saving of £710 a year.

The Matharoo family, including one year old daughter Alisha, came sixth in the experiment, having been judged on the two criteria of improving fuel efficiency and local journey planning.

Tips for smarter driving include removing the roof rack, avoiding carrying excess weight and keeping a constant speed.

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