Kwik-Fit Warns ‘Eco-Coasters’ Not to Lose Control
What risks would you take to save money? Kwik-Fit has expressed its concern about a growing group of motorists who chance damage to their vehicles (and themselves) do to just that. The fast fit chains calls such drivers ‘eco-coasters’, and its caution comes in response to research that shows some 5.4 million “financially prudent motorists’, 15 per cent of all UK drivers, have taken to selecting a neutral gear when going downhill – just to cut their fuel bills.
Kwik-Fit warns that “out of gear is out of control”. It explains that, whilst in gear, a car’s engine will automatically slow it down and enable the vehicle to descend a hill in a controlled fashion. But out of gear the car is totally at the mercy of gravity and can easily race ahead and into the car in front. Furthermore, because eco-coasting relies solely on a car’s brakes to slow it down, it increases their wear and tear. So, habitual eco-coasters might also find their brakes wear out prematurely and let them down when they need them most.
David White, Customer Services director, Kwik-Fit, comments: “Eco-coasting is clearly on the rise as millions of motorists look to save money on their fuel bills. But the associated dangers make it a money saving step too far. What’s more, coasting might not be as economical as you think. The small amount of money you might save on your fuel bill might well to be outweighed by the increased wear and tear on your brakes.”
Eco-coasting is most likely to be witnessed in the South East where about 18 per cent of motorists freewheel. Interestingly, contrary to a reputation for thriftiness and despite its abundance of mountains and hills, Scottish drivers are least guilty of eco-coasting – with only one-in-ten Scottish motorists exercising ‘gear prudence’.
Anyone concerned about the condition of their brakes, adds Kwik-Fit should get them checked for free at any one of its 570 UK centres.