For a more effortless and secure experience on our site, please consider updating your browser

World record fuel saver couple show Canberra instant 10 to 30 percent economy options

June 26, 2008
World record fuel saver couple show Canberra instant 10 to 30 percent economy options

Industry website Autonews reports today that Multiple Fuel Efficiency Guinness World Record Holders, John and Helen Taylor, visited Canberra to offer their knowledge of fuel efficient driving to Australian MPs in the face of climbing fuel prices.

John and Helen Taylor hold 36 fuel economy driving world records between them.

The Taylors drove from Melbourne to Canberra to illustrate just how easily all motorists can save up to 30 per cent on their weekly fuel bills.

The Taylors invited MPs to put their tips to the test, by taking part in a fuel efficiency challenge, to find Parliaments Most Fuel Efficient MP, using two new Peugeot 308s.

When their local member, the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water, Greg Hunt, invited them to Canberra to show all motorists how they can save between 10 and 30 percent of their weekly fuel bills, the Taylors were happy to oblige.

Having recently set a new Guinness World Record for driving around Australia, consuming only 3.13 litres per 100km in a Peugeot 308 HDi, John and Helen had no hesitation in selecting the same car to take the fuel economy message to Canberra.

The car used for the World Record was a regular 308 XS HDi manual featuring a 1.6L turbodiesel engine with 80kW and 240Nm of torque on tap. The official fuel consumption rating for the mixed cycle is just 4.9L/100km (48mpg) with carbon emissions of 130g/km.

Flagged off by Greg Hunt, the Taylors drove from Melbourne to Canberra to demonstrate the figures that can be achieved by utilizing their techniques, covering the distance of 773 kilometres on or just under the posted speed limits.

Using only 28.7 litres of fuel, the couple recorded a fuel consumption figure for the trip of only 3.7 litres per 100km.

Competing in two identical Peugeot 308 XS HDi vehicles, Helen and John sat alongside the MPs who drove the cars along an 8km route around the Parliament House precinct.

The MPs recorded fuel economy figures much lower than the already impressive 6.2 litres per 100km that the car achieves in a normal city cycle.

On average, the recorded fuel consumption was only 4.18 litres per 100km, in city traffic which represents a 33 per cent saving on the official fuel consumption figure.

The winning MP, Federal Member for Barker, Patrick Secker, was awarded the title of Parliaments Most Fuel Efficient Driver for achieving the lowest figure of only 3.7 litres per 100km.

We are confident motorists can save between 10 and 30 per cent of their fuel bills in these times of sky-rocketing fuel prices. By reducing fuel consumption by 30% you will also be reducing your greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and at the same time, drive in a much smarter and safer manner, Helen Taylor said.

We have clearly illustrated today, that with some coaching and education, all motorists can make an immediate difference to their fuel consumption, John Taylor said.

The Taylors have established a Fuel Academy to take this message directly to the public, which contains a list of tips to improve fuel efficiency, such as:

The Driver

By far the most important factor in the reduction of fuel consumption is you. This is good news, it is one part of the Fuel Economy equation you have control over.

The rule is simply SLOW DOWN. There is no need to stomp the accelerator into the carpet to the next red traffic light.

Remember this It is possible to achieve the same speeds using far less fuel by simply being patient. If youre using your brakes unnecessarily youre essentially wasting energy. Try to anticipate traffic situations, its safer too.

The Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water, Greg Hunt welcomes the Taylors to Canberra.
The Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water, Greg Hunt welcomes the Taylors to Canberra.

Drive Smoothly

Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel than safe driving. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard and try to keep your steering as smooth as possible.

Use Higher Gears

The higher the gear you drive in the lower your engine speed is, which can improve fuel efficiency. So change up a gear whenever you can, without labouring the engine.

Tune and Service Your Engine

A well tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to 4%, so change your oil and follow your car manufacturers recommendation on servicing.

Keep your tyres at the right pressure

Correctly inflated tyres are safer and last longer. A tyre that is under inflated by just 1psi can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%. An under or over inflated tyre is also more susceptible to failing.

Dont carry extra weight

For every extra 100 lbs (45 kg) you carry your fuel efficiency can drop by 1-2%. So keep your boot or back seat clear of unnecessary items that just add weight to your vehicle.

Remove the Roof Rack

If youre not using your roof rack, then remove it. They affect the aerodynamic efficiency of vehicles and create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as 5%.

Use the correct Oil

Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturers recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by 1-2%. Higher quality motor oils can help your engine operate more efficiently.

Fuel and lubricants matter

All fuels are not created equal. Fuel economy is maximised in the engine through a combination of good driving habits and using the right fuelone that helps reduce friction and improves cleanliness in the engine, thereby improving fuel efficiency.

The Taylors have chosen Shell fuel to power their Guinness World Records as a result of their own personal tests of several commercially-available fuels and their belief in Shells product quality.

Editor's Note: GoSee uses various add-ons, lubricants and fueladditives in the engines and fuel of our three towing vehicles with advantage to cut friction to absolute minimums. We are working on a feature based on GoSee experience with these products.

Avoid excess idling

Idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when youre in a queue, or waiting for someone, until you need it.

Plan trips carefully

Cutting down on the time spent in the car is the easiest way to conserve fuel. To reduce driving time, combine all your short trips and errands into a single journey.

Avoid over revving

Change gears prudently when youre accelerating. Never redline the rev counter.

Keep your distance

Leave a sensible distance between yourself and the car ahead to give you ample time to brake safely.

Avoid high speeds

The faster you go, the more wind resistance you will encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. Driving just 5mph over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23%.

Use air conditioning sparingly air conditioning puts added strain on the engine and uses fuel to operate, so limit use to particularly hot or cold days. When possible use the fan instead.

Breathing in

A clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10%, because insufficient air intake means each combustion is less efficient.

Avoid rush hour

If you can travel outside of peak times, do so, youll spend less time stuck in traffic and consume less fuel as a result.

Conserve momentum

Instead of coasting when you reach a downward slope, maintain steady engine revs. This will mean you pick up speed, and if you've then got a hill to climb, it gives you considerable added momentum to help go up it, energy efficiently.

Editor's Note: When towing controlled,thoughtful use of the gearbox is essential for the safety of you, yours and other road users.

Ensure your fuel cap is air tight

Fuel evaporates every time you open the fuel cap. To stop this, make larger fill-ups as opposed to repeatedly topping up your tank.

Stay calm

When youre not calm, youre more likely to make errors of judgment. Fuel efficiency is all about smoothness, and keeping calm is absolutely crucial to achieving best fuel economy results.


When you are faced with a headwind, the engine has to work much harder to cover the same distance because of drag. The only thing to do is to moderate your speed to ensure that the engine doesn't end up labouring too hard.

Use handbrakes on slopes

Some motorists fail to make use of handbrakes when stopping their vehicles on a slope. Instead they either ride their clutch (for manual transmission), or use the accelerator (for auto vehicles), to keep the vehicle from rolling.

Drive downhill in gear

Driving down hill in neutral (free wheeling) you will use some fuel. When you drive down hill in gear (the safest gear under the circumstances) in a modern day car you will use NO fuel whatsoever.

Editor's Note: When towing controlled,thoughtful use of the gearbox is essential for the safety of you, yours and other road users.

Travel Light

Travel light - Take out shopping, shoes, clothes, baby seats from your car when not required, leave them at home. The more weight you carry, the higher your fuel consumption will be.

Preparation - before you drive!

Leave home at a time that enables you a relaxed journey. Plan ahead so you have your hair done and your make-up on BEFORE you leave the house. You will arrive safe and driving smoothly you will consume less fuel.

The winning MP, Patrick Secker receives his trophy from Greg Hunt and the Taylors.
The winning MP, Patrick Secker receives his trophy from Greg Hunt and the Taylors.

Never operate a telephone while driving

Have your mobile phone ear piece attached before turning on your engine. Never drive without a telephone hands free accessory. Better still pull off the road into a safe static area, thus reducing distractions dangerous to other road users.

Plan your journey

Plan your route, avoid traffic rush hour situations where possible. Check the map before leaving, thus being more fluid with your driving. Stop starting, or getting lost, burns up a great deal of fuel.

Accelerate gradually - Maintain Consistent Speeds. Accelerate gradually when moving off. Fast starts burn a lot more fuel. Try to maintain consistent speeds, where the speed limit laws allow.

Enjoy your drive

Read the road ahead, signal early, drive smoothly and as relaxed as you possibly can. Smooth consistent driving will result in better economy figures.

Driving with children and babies

When driving with children and babies, it is important to have them settled BEFORE you start your journey. Ensure they are content and you will have no unnecessary distractions. The result will be a smoother and safer journey!

For more information, visit

Editor's Note also see:

The winning MP, Federal Member for Barker, Patrick Secker,
The winning MP, Federal Member for Barker, Patrick Secker,