There's a button on your Google Maps that can save you money on petrol

Getting your sat nav before you set off can be a big help [file image]
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An expert has revealed that a simple button on your sat nav could significantly reduce your fuel expenses while ensuring timely arrivals.

Sat navs have become indispensable in modern driving, helping to navigate through traffic and avoid toll roads, tailoring each trip to the drivers preferences. Google Maps, widely used by millions across Britain either on smartphones or integrated systems, stands out as a popular choice.

Graham Conway of Select Car Leasing highlights a specific feature in Google Maps that many overlook but can help cut down on fuel costs. Despite recent slight decreases in fuel prices reported by the RAC, with petrol costing an average of 147.88p per litre and diesel at 153.58p, any savings are beneficial.

Conway advises: "Google Maps is full of great features - but there is one in particular that is commonly ignored which can prove a huge boost for motorists. All you have to do to take advantage of it is to enter your destination into the app and choose 'directions', then look for the three small vertical dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen."

"Select 'options' and then look for the 'prefer fuel-efficient routes' toggle, which you can switch on by moving to the right. You can also select it via the settings in your profile. The software will then use a selection of specific data to make sure you are not only saving on fuel, but also being kind to the planet.", reports the Mirror.

The Google website elaborates on the functionality, reports Bristol Live. The website states: "Google Maps can estimate fuel or energy efficiency for different vehicle types, including electric and combustion engine cars, as well as petrol motorcycles."

"The more fuel or energy efficient the route, the lower your vehicle's fuel or energy usage and CO2e emissions. To determine the best route, if this feature is turned on, Maps will consider fuel efficiency in addition to factors like real-time traffic, route simplicity and road conditions."

"Thus, alongside the fastest route, Maps will always highlight the most efficient one, provided there are several ways to reach your destination."

Mr Conway said: "With sat nav software being such a huge part of driving these days, it's important to ensure it works as well as possible for your individual needs. Spend a bit of time investigating the other features - some of which are really fun - to make it a truly bespoke experience."

"In Google Maps you can change your vehicle icon, use the app to remember where you parked and also plot a route to multiple destinations in one trip, which will also take advantage of the fuel-efficiency calculations. One word of warning is to be careful where you place a mobile phone or sat nav device - or you could face a potential fine and points on your licence."

He added: "If it obstructs your view of the road it could mean an on-the-spot £100 fine, plus six penalty points. That could increase to a £1,000 fine if you unsuccessfully challenge the offence, and if a device blocking your view causes an incident the penalties will be much stiffer and will affect your insurance."

"It's also important to never touch your phone while driving, so make sure all routes are entered before you set off. Doing this, or using a phone for navigation that isn't securely mounted, will mean a £200 fine and six points."