Alberta’s Indigenous tourism industry gets $1.3M funding boost from feds


The federal government announced Wednesday it will invest $1.3 million to support Indigenous tourism organizations that showcase Alberta as a premier destination.

The commitment will see $843,000 go towards Indigenous Tourism Alberta‘s (ITA) five-year strategy action plan to help Alberta’s Indigenous tourism operators. That money will develop a mentorship program, a resiliency partnership program web development.

Read more:

Indigenous women in Alberta leading the way in tourism industry

“COVID-19 hit Indigenous tourism operators particularly hard, but ITA was able to support Indigenous entrepreneurs communities through the pandemic position them to thrive as travellers return thanks to the support of the government of Canada,” said Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta.


Click to play video: 'Indigenous tourism booming in Alberta'







Indigenous tourism booming in Alberta


Indigenous tourism booming in Alberta – Dec 27, 2021

He explained the Indigenous tourism sector was especially hard hit because the pandemic closed borders prevented international visitors from coming to Alberta. Adjustments also had to be made so that operators were eligible for funding supports relief funds, Bird said.

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Read more:

Indigenous Tourism Alberta to provide relief funding to businesses affected by COVID-19

He said the partnerships with the federal government has been crucial for not just the growth — but the survival — of the Indigenous tourism industry in Alberta.

“I can say happily that we’re seeing a bit of a recovery starting. We’ve decreased the impacts of COVID pretty significantly, in comparison to some of the other provinces territories,” Bird said. “We’re not quite out of the woods yet.”


Click to play video: 'Extended border closure another obstacle for Alberta Indigenous tourism industry'







Extended border closure another obstacle for Alberta Indigenous tourism industry


Extended border closure another obstacle for Alberta Indigenous tourism industry – Sep 18, 2020

The federal funding will be focused on mentorships digital support for Alberta businesses entrepreneurs.

“We’re able to support 20 businesses to become more digital, getting their businesses online — whether that’s enhancing existing websites that they have or getting new businesses that didn’t have a website a website — so they can be found that awareness can be found online ideally bookable for that consumer,” Bird explained.

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“We know the digitalization of our Indigenous services products here in Alberta is incredibly important.”


Jasper Tour Company, an operator with Indigenous Tourism Alberta.


Courtesy: Indigenous Tourism Alberta

The money will also fund executive-level mentorship programs for 11 businesses.

“To really guide the businesses through developing their business acceleration maturity levels; anything from revamping business strategy, building out marketing strategies, supporting on making adjusted price points to increase profit margins or work with export-ready markets.

“That’s a program that we see huge value for our membership,” Bird added.

The money can also be used for things like cultural awareness sessions for non-Indigenous industry partners the Indigenous Tourism Summit, he said.

Indigenous Tourism Alberta expects the investment will create, maintain or exp45 Indigenous businesses 100 jobs.

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Read more:

Indigenous Guardians are patrolling the front lines of climate change

Calgary’s TELUS Spark Centre will receive $500,000 to develop launch “The Sacred Defenders of the Universe” experience.

The interactive digital exhibit will share Indigenous knowledge tradition hopes to attract domestic international visitors.

TELUS Spark Centre expects its project to attract over 19,000 visitors by 2023.

“Tourists will be enthralled by the powerful storytelling in this new digital immersion experience at Spark, as they explore culturally, learn grow,” said Mary Anne Moser, president CEO of TELUS Spark Science Centre.

Read more:

Tourism app highlights Alberta outdoor adventures

“The project is led by Indigenous artists will engage broad audiences in Indigenous ways of knowing. And the story is spectacular! We are grateful for the financial support to bring together a team with such talent, creativity perspective.”


Click to play video: 'Exploring Alberta’s First Nations history tourism on National Indigenous Peoples Day'







Exploring Alberta’s First Nations history tourism on National Indigenous Peoples Day


Exploring Alberta’s First Nations history tourism on National Indigenous Peoples Day – Jun 21, 2021

The federal minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada said Alberta’s tourism sector was hard-hit by the pandemic but a wave of domestic international visitors is now expected.

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“These Investments in Alberta’s Indigenous tourism sector will strengthen resiliency among Indigenous tourism operators advance reconciliation as they proudly share traditional Indigenous knowledge culture with visitors from across Canada aground the globe,” said Daniel Vandal.


Warrior Women, an operator with Indigenous Tourism Alberta.


Courtesy: Indigenous Tourism Alberta

The federal government said, prior to the pandemic, Indigenous tourism was one of Canada’s Alberta’s largest fastest-growing tourism niche sectors worth an estimated $166.2 million.

Read more:

Alberta tour operators prepare for a year of losses

According to Bird, the Indigenous tourism industry in Alberta is incredibly diverse.

“How we define ‘Indigenous tourism operator’ for our membership is a tourism operator — anyone working in the tourism space — that is 51 per cent owned or operated by Indigenous entrepreneurs or communities.

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“This could be anything from your traditional pow wows or medicine walks, cultural centres, but then we also look at hotels, fishing trips, accommodation, everything in between.”


Drift Out West, an operator with Indigenous Tourism Alberta.


Courtesy: Indigenous Tourism Alberta

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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What is the strategy that can help build a retirement fund?


My mother, who is 49 years old currently unemployed, has received 2 lakh from her provident fund. We have invested this in a liquid fund. What should be our investment strategy to maximize gains, reduce taxes build a good amount for her retirement? What are the different avenues of investment allocation?

— Name withheld on request

 

If we consider retirement age at 55 or 60 years, you have time to invest the money in more aggressive avenues which can help you grow it better. So, your plan to increase the returns on this investment is correct. 

Depending on your family’s near-term needs, you can invest this money later as your mother is presently searching for a job. If reasonable contingency funds are in place then you can start investing gradually. You can invest this money in equity mutual funds to accumulate a retirement corpus for your mother. 

To create a good retirement corpus, you will have to invest more than 2 lakh. If we assume this 2 lakh investment grows at 10%  per annum you will be able to accumulate around 5.70 lakh till her retirement. 

This would be less to take care of regular expenses at that stage. 

You may also consider starting SIPs for her retirement when she starts her work again to create a reasonable corpus.

You can invest in the following funds: 

— UTI Nifty Index Fund – 25% 

— Mirae Asset Large Cap Fund – 20%

— SBI Focused Equity Fund – 20%

— Canara Robeco Emerging Equities Fund – 20%

— UTI Flexicap Fund – 15%

Considering the present conditions, you can invest gradually instead of investing the entire amount in one go. 

One way to do it is to invest 15-20% of 2 lakh as when the stock market consolidates or simply opt for SIP in the above funds for six months invest the amount.

Harshad Chetanwala is the co-founder at MyWealthGrowth.com.

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Why investments in MFs are better than AIF PMS


Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) portfolio management service (PMS) are two popular vehicles for investing in the stock markets. Yet, mutual funds (MFs) are perhaps the best product least controversial from a tax compliance perspective as well as for ease of monitoring income flows such as dividends interest receipts. Over the last two decades, the number of issues, ambiguities, controversies faced by MFs as a structure by investors are negligible, as compared to PMS AIF products.

Equity MFs are more often recommended by experts as long-term products. once the investor invests in a MF, till he exits or redeems, there is no tax compliance payment of taxes.

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In the case of a PMS or AIF investment, even if the investor remains invested for the long-term, the fact that the PMS manager keeps exiting making fresh investments, makes the investor responsible for payment of tax while earning nothing also report gains/losses on an annual basis. In the case of AIFs, category I II basis pass-through, the investor is expected to pay tax as when the income is earned even in the absence of any distribution by the AIF. Further, in both PMS AIF I II cases, the investor is obliged to pay advance tax during the year. In category III AIF, the investor gets to know his share of income disclosed as exempt in the return of income, but still fares worse than MFs where tax payment gets deferred till redemption/receipt of cash flows.

Worse still is a case of a newly launched AIF wherein the fund is yet to make investments in the meantime parks money in short-term products earning some income. Such income is not available to the investor may not really count as ‘income’ if one were to account for fund management fees. So even if the NAV may not show appreciation, the investor may end up paying tax either directly in the case of categories I II, through the fund in the case of category III. The issue of deductibility of fund management expenses is equally applicable to PMS. Here, annual capital gain other income reports do not take into account the PMS manager’s expenses.

Thus, the investor has to take a call on whether such expenses should be deducted while reporting the income in his income tax return. For MF investors, the NAV is net of all expenses including fund management expenses, hence effectively deducted from gains on exit. In MFs, the investor pays tax on redeeming the investment. Further, another complication arises in case of loss from category I II AIFs. The loss can be considered by investors for set=off against other gains. However, this benefit is restricted to unitholders who hold the units of the AIF for at least 12 months. However, this issue does not arise for MF or PMS investors because no similar restrictions or conditions relating to holding by the original investor exist.

All this certainly makes an enormous difference in terms of tax compliance at the end of each year. No doubt from a tax perspective as well, mutual fund sahi hai !

Sunil Gidwani is partner at Nangia Andersen LLP.

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Mistakes to avoid during last-minute tax planning


To ensure that you don’t make any costly mistake in your last-minute tax planning exercise, we list out five common mistakes that you should avoid.

Miscalculating taxable income

To calculate your tax liability, you should first add all your incomes. The net taxable income will give you a clear picture of how much tax you need to save. A common mistake taxpayers make is not including the interest income from fixed deposits (FDs), tax-saving FDs, recurring deposits, which are fully taxable. Taxpayers do this believing they don’t need to pay tax as the bank has deducted TDS. But, 10% TDS doesn’t cover the full tax liability of those in higher tax slabs, so they would have to calculate the additional tax they need to pay.

Interest earned on balance in a savings account is tax-exempt up to 10,000, beyond which this too is added to the taxpayer’s income taxed at applicable tax slab. Similarly, not adding capital gains from redemption or systematic transfer plan (STP) from a liquid fund is another common mistake. Withdrawal before three years is treated as short-term capital gain taxed at your slab rate.

Another income that taxpayers miss including is deemed rent. The Income Tax (IT) rules treat vacant residential properties as ‘deemed to be let out’ require the homeowner to pay tax on notional rent. Up to two residential properties are exempt from this rule, provided they are either self-occupied or vacant. If you have more than two properties any of these are vacant, you will have to pay tax on notional rent.

Calculating the correct taxable income is especially crucial for those taxpayers who want to bring their net taxable income below the 5 lakh tax exemption threshold by making tax-saving investments.

For instance, say, a taxpayer miscalculates her income as 6.9 lakh. She makes investments worth 1.5 lakh under section 80C, which combined with a standard deduction of 50,000 brings down her tax liability to zero. However, if she has income over 10,000 from interest, rent, capital gains, or any other source that she has missed adding, her tax outgo will be at least 12,500.

Expenditures under Section 80C

Before you rush to exhaust the 1.5 lakh tax deduction under section 80C through investments, check eligible expenditures that you can claim. Children’s tuition fee, repayment of principal component of a home loan, life insurance premiums qualify for a deduction. If you have acquired or constructed a property, then stamp duty, registration fee, even property transfer expenses are also eligible.

Deduct eligible expenses from 1.5 lakh the balance amount is how much you need to invest to fully utilize Section 80C.

Overlooking liquidity, returns on investment

Experts say tax planning is a subset of overall financial planning not vice-versa. “People should practice goal-based investing first only use tax saving as one of the features to compare different investment products,” said Kartik Sankaran, founder, Fiscal Fitness. “For instance, the National Pension Scheme (NPS) is a product with good intentions to force long-term savings, however, it lacks flexibility as you are locked-in until 60 years of age.” One should ensure that their short-term needs are taken care of before locking 50,000 in NPS just to save additional tax under Section 80CCD(1B).

Similarly, unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) may seem like a better market-linked option over equity-linked saving scheme (ELSS) funds as they offer the flexibility to switch between equity debt without any tax implications, but they score low on liquidity. Traditional life insurance policies, which are sold aggressively during the end of the fiscal, are the worst investment option as they don’t align with any of your financial goals. “Endowment plans pension plans do not provide either adequate insurance cover or commensurate returns for such a long holding period,” said Sankaran.

Ignoring complete tax structure

Many investment products that offer a deduction on investment carry tax implications on accrual withdrawal amounts. Ignoring the latter will result in a return expectation mismatch.

For instance, interest earned on tax-saving FDs is fully taxable, which lowers the net returns. Post-tax return on an FD promising 5.5% interest rate will be 4.3% 3.7% for tax slabs of 20% 30%, respectively.

Sankaran takes the example of NPS, wherein 40% of the total maturity proceeds have to be mandatorily invested in an annuity plan.

“The investor is forced to buy a chunk of low yielding annuities, income from which are taxed on slab rates.” The remaining 60% maturity corpus is tax-free.

Missing little-known options

Your employer must be sending you the final call to claim leave travel allowance (LTA) exemption for the current fiscal. Similarly, submit the required documents to claim house rent allowance (HRA), if not done already, so that your employer can include the deduction in your Form 16.

If you bear the expenses of your uninsured elderly parent’s medical treatment medicines, don’t rush to buy health insurance for them now. Section 80D allows deduction of up to 50,000 on medical expenses paid for senior citizen parents who are not covered by a health insurance policy.

If you buy a policy now, you will only be able to claim deduction on the premium that you will pay not on the money already spent on their treatment in the current fiscal. Defer this purchase until the next financial year.

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Drivers risk breaking the law by stockpiling petrol in cars at home


With petrol prices at unprecedented highs, motorists may consider every measure possible to avoid the record cost of filling up – including hoarding fuel bought at lower prices.

But although the cost of filling a car is set to continue rising on the back of the war in Ukraine sanctions against buying Russian oil, storing your own fuel is dangerous rarely a wise idea.

Latest industry figures show that petrol prices in just 24 hours rose by almost 2p-a-lite to more than £1.58 on Tuesday diesel increased above £1.65, up more than £3 on the day before. The biggest daily rise since records began in 2000. 

With commentators predicting prices rising another 10p to 15p in coming weeks, drivers may be temped to build up their own reserves of lower-priced fuel by filling jerry cans containers to store petrol at home in their cars.

But how much are you legally allowed to transport store? And what are the dangers insurance risks of doing so? 

Fuel price crisis: How much fuel can you transport in your car store at home? Four containers, as seen here, is above the legal allowance…

Following the UK Government’s announcement on Tuesday that it will phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, MPs insiders have warned drivers to expect pump prices to continue spiralling.

Already, the cost to fill a petrol family car with a 55-litre fuel tank is £87.01 – more than £19 more than a year ago – while a diesel equivalent will take an eye-watering £90.88 to brim, based on the latest UK average prices.

What are the biggest daily rises in fuel prices on record?

PETROL  

4 September 2005 – a rise of 2.29p

DIESEL

8 March 2022 – a rise of 2.96p

Previous highest was on 16 August 2018, a 2.84p daily increase

Source: RAC

Records date back to 2000 

Those driving into motorway service station forecourts this week are already seeing prices over £1.73-a-litre for unleaded £1.76 for diesel on average.  

The RAC Foundation has said today that motorists should expect average unleaded pump prices to breach £1.60 per litre before the end of the week slip above £1.65 shortly after.

The prospect of paying £100 to fill-up is increasingly looking likely to become a reality.

Such is the drastic rate of price increases at the moment, the sight of drivers filling jerry cans with fuel in a bid to stave off rising prices is becoming more common.

But some could be inadvertently breaking rules by transporting excess fuel in their cars storing too much at home…

How much fuel can you legally store at home? 

While it is completely legal to fill jerry cans fuel-specific containers with petrol at fuel stations, there are strict rules about how much can be kept at your private property. 

According to the Health Safety Executive (HSE), you can only legally store up to 30 litres of petrol at your home, or non-workplace premises without informing the correct authorities.

How much fuel can you legally store at home? 

You can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home or at non-workplace premises without informing the local Petroleum Enforcement Authority. 

The legislation allows you to store petrol in the following containers:

– Plastic containers storing up to 10L

– Metal containers storing up to 20L

– Demountable fuel tank up to 30L

Suitable portable containers are defined in Schedule 2 (para 6) Schedule 3 of the regulations. UN approved containers are an example of such containers.

Source: Health Safety Executive 

For storage at your house – either in a shed or garage – the rules dictate that just 20 litres of petrol can be stored in metal jerry cans, however this must be spread across at least two cans as you are not allowed to carry 20 litres in just one container.

For fuel-specific plastic containers, which hold up to 5 litres, the maximum total allowance to store at home is 10 litres (so two full containers in total).  

Any more than this it becomes a legal requirement to notify your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA) in writing, giving your name address of storage location, official guidelines dictate. 

The RAC warns that petrol only has a shelf-life of six months if kept in a sealed container at 20 degrees. 

It expires three months earlier if kept at 30 degrees, with heat impacting how quickly it goes off.

Commenting on the storage of excess fuel at home, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘Just because it’s legal to store up to 30 litres of petrol at home, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

‘Those who need to should follow the law carefully to keep themselves, their families neighbours safe. 

‘Petrol should always be kept in the proper containers in an outbuilding never left outside.’

A motorist pictured filling jerry cans in the boot of his car in Cambridgeshire this week. The AA recommends people do not consider transporting excess fuel in their vehicles

A motorist pictured filling jerry cans in the boot of his car in Cambridgeshire this week. The AA recommends people do not consider transporting excess fuel in their vehicles

How much petrol can you legally transport in your car? 

While up to 30 litres of fuel can be stored at your private residence, how you get it there is another story – a bit of a legal grey area. 

The HSE says you can store up to 30 litres of petrol in a maximum of two ‘suitable containers’ in your vehicle.  

These containers must be kept in the boot not the vehicle’s cabin.

They must also be clearly marked with the words ‘petrol’ ‘highly flammable’, be ‘robust not liable to break under the normal conditions of use’ also prevent the escape of petrol vapour, the HSE clarifies.

But even if you are transporting fuel within the guidance restrictions, you could still end up in hot water if you’re pulled over by the police. 

Rules stipulate that it is down to an officer to determine if the fuel being transported can be considered a ‘dangerous load’ or ‘may be hazardous’ – there will likely be penalties for those that fail this review. We have asked the Department for Transport what this could mean in terms of fines penalty points.

The AA stated during fuel shortages last year that it is ‘desperately worried’ about people storing petrol diesel, which it describes as ‘incredibly, incredibly dangerous’. 

The motoring group recommends that people do not consider transporting excess fuel in their vehicles or storing it at home at all.  

According to HSE you can only legally store up to 30 litres of petrol at home without notifying authorities - the type of jerry can determines how much you can store

According to HSE you can only legally store up to 30 litres of petrol at home without notifying authorities – the type of jerry can determines how much you can store

What impact does storing petrol in a car or at home have on insurance? 

The insurance industry says it ‘strongly advises’ against stock piling petrol at home.

This is not only due to the unsociable aspect of conceivably driving prices higher, but also the ‘potential danger to life damage to property, including risk to third parties,’ a spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers told us. 

‘However, if it is absolutely critical for some to store fuel at home, it is important that they follow the Health Safety Executive’s guidance do not exceed the safe limit for domestic petrol storage, as well as following the appropriate guidance for storing it safely in approved containers in a well ventilated area,’ they added. 

They also told us that motorists storing a legal volume of petrol at home will not need to notify their home insurance policy provider. 

‘Assuming anyone storing fuel within the legal limit have taken reasonable care to prevent loss, damage or liability, there are no specific exclusions to your home insurance policy, then there should not be a risk of invalidating your home insurance policy,’ the ABI adds.

‘Individuals should check their insurance policy if they are unsure of any implications, to speak with their insurer.’

The ABI says the similar rules apply for the transportation of fuel in cars insurance policies. 

‘It is important that people follow the HSE guidance do not exceed the safe limit for transporting domestic petrol in a private vehicle, as well as following the appropriate guidance for storing it safely in approved containers while transporting it.

‘Assuming anyone transporting fuel within the legal limit have taken reasonable care to prevent loss, damage or liability, there are no specific exclusions to your motor insurance policy, then there should not be a risk of invalidating your motor insurance policy.’

Insurer Aviva told us: ‘Whilst we have no requirement for customers to tell us they are storing fuel at the home address, we would strongly discourage customers from storing large quantities of fuel they should be aware of the legal requirements around this.

‘If a customer is storing more than 30 litres of fuel, they must adhere to storage requirements set out in the legislation. 

‘In the event of a fire, if investigations suggested that the fuel was not being stored correctly, this could affect their claim.

‘For motor insurance, we do not have an exclusion that would prevent a person carrying/storing excess fuel in their vehicle nor do we need to be made aware of it.’

TOP 10 TIPS TO DRIVE MORE EFFICIENTLY TO SAVE THE EQUIVALENT OF 9P-A-LITRE

There are ways to drive more efficiently that can help you to cut down on your fuel bills. 

Using really simple eco-driving techniques – like those listed below – ‘can easily save the equivalent of 9p-a-litre’, says the AA. 

For motorists desperately wanting to get the most out of the expensive fuel they’re currently pumping into their cars, This is Money has compiled our top 10 best tips to drive as efficiently as possible…

1. Make sure the vehicle is in tip-top running order 

If you drive an older car that hasn’t been serviced for a few years, now might be the time to get it booked in to ensure it is running as efficiently as it possibly can be. 

Sticking brakes, ageing tyres, faulty sensors, old oil general poor engine maintenance are just some of the factors that could hit your car’s optimum miles per gallon (mpg) performance. 

Ensuring tyres are correctly inflated is one of the easiest ways to ensure your car isn't being inefficient with its fuel

Ensuring tyres are correctly inflated is one of the easiest ways to ensure your car isn’t being inefficient with its fuel

2. Check tyre pressures

One of the easiest fixes to ensure your vehicle is running at peak efficiency is to regularly check that the tyres are inflated to the correct level. 

Underinflated tyres are estimated to impact a car’s fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent. 

Check the car’s owner’s manual to find out what the optimum pressures are. Most models also have the tyre pressure info detailed on a sticker on the driver’s door sill – while modern cars might also display the pressure in the instrument cluster, or alert you to pressure that is incorrect. 

Most modern cars have adjustable driving settings that modulate how quickly they accelerate. If yours has an 'ECO' mode, like the one pictured, you should use it

Most modern cars have adjustable driving settings that modulate how quickly they accelerate. If yours has an ‘ECO’ mode, like the one pictured, you should use it

3. If your car has an ‘eco’ mode, use it

Many modern motors are now fitted with adjustable driving modes. 

If yours does, it likely has an ‘eco’ setting. Using these mode will restrict how quickly the car accelerates. 

Slower smoothers acceleration will but will help reduce fuel consumption. 

4. If your car doesn’t have an eco setting, be gentle on the throttle

If you have a car that doesn’t have adjustable driving modes, try to replicate what it does with your right foot. This means taking it easy on the throttle pedal when you can.

Excessive speed is the biggest fuel-guzzling factor so having a light right foot ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important to fuel-efficient driving.

When you set off from a standstill, such as at traffic lights junctions, try not to react like you’re on the starting grid at Silverstone.

The RAC says choosing a higher gear will mean you're not overworking the engine therefore lessening the demfor fuel

The RAC says choosing a higher gear will mean you’re not overworking the engine therefore lessening the demfor fuel

5. Use the highest gear possible 

The RAC says that the biggest secret to achieving high mpg is driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit. 

‘The best advice in urban areas is to change up through the gears as quickly as you can with the lowest revs possible, probably at around 2000rpm,’ it says. 

6. Anticipate well ahead to preserve fuel when braking

Heavy acceleration will sap fuel economy, but braking too heavily also has the same impact, as you can use less fuel by coming to a standstill more gradually.

This requires a driver to anticipate traffic flow ahead, but is a great way of limiting fuel use.   

If you're a long-distance driver who relies on cruise control, it might be worth avoiding using it while petrol diesel prices are as high as they currently are

If you’re a long-distance driver who relies on cruise control, it might be worth avoiding using it while petrol diesel prices are as high as they currently are

7. Cruise control isn’t your friend if you want to save fuel 

While many will believe that using cruise control functionality will provide the lowest fuel use, this isn’t always the case.

Cruise control is most likely to benefit mpg on motorways with a constant speed a flat surface.

However, if you were to use your cruise control regularly not on flat roads, you would see fuel consumption increase.

‘This is because your cruise control would be slower to react to gradient changes, meaning when reaching the brow of a hill – at which point you would normally take your foot off the accelerator to maintain more of a constant speed when descending – your cruise control will keep the power on for a little longer as it’s unable to see the gradient change in front of you. 

‘Driving in this way regularly would lead to worse fuel consumption,’ says the RAC. 

Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to as it uses engine power therefore increases fuel consumption.

8. Avoid using the air-con heater

Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to as it uses engine power therefore increases fuel consumption by as much as 10 per cent on shorter journeys.

This shouldn’t be an issue during the cooler months, though using a car’s heater will have a similar impact, with it running off the engine power therefore lowering fuel economy.

Dress accordingly for the weather, is the best advice.

9. A warm engine is more efficient, so run multiple errands in a single journey

Once an engine is warm it will operate most efficiently, whereas several cold starts will increase fuel consumption.

So if you have a number of errands or trips in a day, try to do all of them in one go.

The AA adds that the changing season from winter to spring should also help improve fuel economy.

Warmer temperatures should improve mpg ‘significantly’ with an extra three miles to the gallon ‘almost guaranteed for most’, it claims. 

Having an empty roofbox fitted to the top of your car will make it far less drag efficient, which means the engine will have to work harder - use more fuel - to counteract this

Having an empty roofbox fitted to the top of your car will make it far less drag efficient, which means the engine will have to work harder – use more fuel – to counteract this

10. Lighten your car’s load

While this isn’t going to make the biggest difference to your mpg figures, emptying heavy clutter from your car will fractionally improve its fuel economy.

And if you’re not using roof bars a roof box, take them off as it could make your motor less drag efficient.  

According to the Energy Saving Trust, an empty roof rack adds 16 per cent drag when driving at 75mph. At the same speed a roof box adds 39 per cent, making your vehicle much less fuel efficient.

Driving with a window fully open also has a similar effect.

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