Road trip fuel efficiency

How to get the most out of a tank of fuel on your next adventure.

RACQ Technical Advisor Bill Reeves shares his tips on how you can get to your destination more fuel efficiently.

Estimate the cost of fuel for a trip

Before setting off, have an idea of the fuel costs you need to budget for. To estimate the fuel cost for a trip, you must know the trip distance, the average per litre cost of fuel and the vehicle’s fuel consumption.

The process is as follows

  • Divide the trip distance by 100.
  • Multiply the result of this by fuel consumption.
  • Then multiply this figure by the cost of fuel/litre.


  1. 815 km divided by 100 = 8.15.
  2. 8.15 multiplied by 9 (litres per 100km) = 73.35.
  3. 73.35 multiplied by $1.50 (per litre) = $110.

For more information on estimating the cost of fuel for a trip, click here.

Prepare your vehicle

If your car hasn’t had a tune up and service for a while, it’s a good idea to have it done before you set off. Mechanics can replace spark plugs, fuel filters and air filters.

To get the most out of every drop of fuel, check the cold tyre pressures and condition before setting off and during the trip. Use the correct tyre pressure as recommended in the owners’ manual. Take note of any recommendations about increasing the pressure for high speed and high load operation.

Pack wisely

When packing, consider the weight of your vehicle and/or caravan. The heavier it is, the more fuel you will use.

Roof loads can add significant wind drag which will add to fuel consumption. Avoid roof racks wherever possible. 

If towing, pay special attention to the weight of items in the trailer. With caravans, once everything is loaded weigh the caravan to check that it doesn’t exceed its capacity.

Preparing for your next road trip? Use RACQ’s Trip Planner and tailor your journey. RACQ and Free2Go members can also save 4 cents per litre on fuel at Puma Energy and browse local areas for the lowest fuel prices with the RACQ Fair Fuel Price App.