French fuel crisis: Fill up your tank before your trip

French fuel crisis

Drivers are being urged to fill up on fuel before taking a trip to France

Strikes in France have led to massive fuel shortages. Breakdown service Green Flag is advising drivers to fill up in the UK before crossing the Channel.

It’s expected that 15 million of us will be hitting the roads at some point over the next three days; possibly making it the busiest our roads have been in the last three years.

And if your plan is to escape the British motorways by crossing the Channel, be sure you’re up to date with yet another problem that could bring your journey to a standstill; French fuel shortages.

Due to the ongoing industrial action in France, more than 40% of French fuel stations are currently being affected by fuel shortages, with motorists limited to around 20-litres.

As a result, Green Flag is expecting fuel-related breakdowns to be even higher than the average Bank Holiday weekend and is urging drivers to fill up in the UK before setting off.

Green Flag is already responding to 14% more fuel-related breakdowns than normal, and is predicting a 53% rise in breakdowns from motorists in France this weekend.

With this in mind, you should definitely put some plans into place before setting off and consider some of these fuel-saving tips:

Travelling in France: how to save fuel

Fuel up: Although you should ensure your fuel tank is full before crossing the Channel, don’t be tempted to fill up portable containers until you’ve checked with your ferry operator, or Eurostar, if it’s allowed.

Slow down: Keeping your speed down will reduce fuel consumption. Your car’s handbook will tell you what the most fuel-efficient in-town and out-of-town speed is for you.

Lose weight: Avoid carrying any unnecessary weight in the car as heavy loads put more strain on the vehicle, leading to higher fuel consumption.

Find the shortest route: Although the plan may have been to enjoy long drives in the French countryside, taking the time to find the shortest route to your destination will make the journey more economical. Green Flag has an online route planner to help you find the shortest route anywhere in Europe.

Close the windows: Open windows and sunroofs create drag, which means that you won’t travel as far per litre of fuel. But be wary about just cranking up the air conditioning instead. AC increases the car’s fuel consumption so, if you want to save fuel and money, keep it to a minimum.

Check your pressure: Checking tyre pressure regularly not only improves the safety and performance of the tyres, it also keeps the car running at the optimum fuel efficiency.

Smoothly does it: Try to drive as smoothly as possible and maintain a steady speed. Braking and then accelerating regularly will reduce the number of miles per litre the car can clock up. Driving smoothly is far safer, too. Aim to keep a gap of at least two seconds between yourself and the car in front.

Give the car a break: If you do find yourself stuck in heavy traffic, turn off the engine to avoid wasting fuel.

Stay tuned: Have your car’s engine tuned at a reputable local garage. This way you can make sure it’s always running at the optimum fuel usage level.

Check the oil: As well as maintaining the correct levels of oil, if you want to save money on fuel you should check the type of oil used. Some energy-efficient types can increase the number of miles per litre.

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