Drivers can slash 25 per cent off fuel costs by removing one item from their car

A man fills up his car at the petrol pump. He is holding the pump in his left hand.
Drivers could be wasting up to 25 per cent of fuel -Credit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Motorists could slash their petrol and diesel costs by a significant 25 percent simply by removing one particular item from their vehicle. CarShop's motoring experts have revealed that car roof racks, commonly utilised for bike transportation, can drastically affect a car's aerodynamics.

The specialists warn that any additional attachments to a vehicle can "decrease aero-efficiency" and increase drag, which in turn raises fuel consumption. They note that a roof rack can cause up to a 25 percent surge in fuel use, impacting the finances of drivers already feeling the pinch, reports the Mirror.

An unused roof rack alone can result in a 15 percent rise in fuel usage. The experts explained: "Cars are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, meaning they are designed to reduce drag but external additions can decrease this aero-efficiency and increase drag."

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They continued: "Roof racks and boxes are common additions to cars but can add to fuel consumption as research suggests driving with a roof box uses up to 25 percent more fuel. Many may think this is due to the roof box itself but even an empty roof rack uses up to 15 percent more fuel."

Additionally, they offered a practical tip for drivers: "Helpful tip - having open sunroofs and windows can also cause unnecessary, by only having these open when necessary you can improve fuel efficiency."

Besides impacting a vehicle's aerodynamics, the additional weight of bulky roof racks also adds to the car's overall mass, which can decrease fuel efficiency, as reported by the Express. Experts at BookMyGarage, the leading comparison site for car services and repairs, have issued a warning about the impact of carrying heavy items in your vehicle.

A man putting bikes onto a roof rack
Roof racks can increase drag and weight on vehicles, leading to increased fuel consumption -Credit:Getty Images

They advised: "If you have lots of heavy items sat in your car at all times, then you might be using more fuel than necessary. The less clutter weighing down your car, the less fuel you will need to power it. Be sure to remove any bike racks or roof boxes that are not in use - roof boxes increase fuel consumption and create significant wind resistance."

In addition, RAC Fuel Watch data indicates a consistent rise in petrol and diesel prices since the beginning of the year. Petrol prices have surged, now averaging 145.45p per litre, up from 140.5p in January.

Diesel has also experienced an increase of around 7p per litre since the start of 2024, with current prices at 154.13p. However, RAC experts offer some optimism for motorists, noting that there is "no change forecast" for fuel prices in the forthcoming weeks.