Petrol and diesel owners can save on fuel running costs by cleaning out their cars

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Experts have warned that removing heavy items will make your car “much more energy efficient” which can reduce running costs. USwitch says that roof racks are a “prime offender” for creating “wind drag” which slows down a car.

More vehicle weight increases the car’s “rolling resistance” which prevents the car from moving freely.

The vehicle will therefore require more energy to move it forward which can see road users spend more on fuel costs.

A spokesperson for USwitch said: “Whilst it might be a pain to remove the roof rack or clear out all the junk from your boot, taking the time to do this will make your car much more energy efficient in the long run.

“A vehicle’s weight is an important factor in how much fuel it will consume.

“The heavier the vehicle, the more energy it needs to get moving. Extra weight also increases a vehicle’s rolling resistance, which is a force that resists forward motion as the wheels roll over the road.

“This means all that extra weight is actually dragging you back!

“Roof racks are a prime offender, as they create a ‘wind drag’, and slow your vehicle down.

“Alongside this, having the windows down when driving at a high speed also makes your car use more fuel and energy, which we know is bad for the environment.”

The RAC says that removing items from your vehicles will not make the biggest difference to your car’s miles per gallon (mpg).

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However, the breakdown group confirmed that heavier vehicles will take up more fuel and has urged motorists to remove unnecessary items.

They say these items will not help your fuel economy in the long run which will lead to drivers having to top up more regularly. adds that even trivial items such as footballs and deckchairs can cost drivers money to transport.

Even toys add weight to the back of the car which will require extra energy to transport, increasing consumption.

They said that drivers hoping to make fuel savings should “make a series of small changes” – including a boot clear out.

Previous research from Velcro and 3GEM found that 27 percent of road users said their boot was so untidy that friends or family had commented on the mess.

The poll revealed that 2.5 percent admitted to never cleaning out their boots at all.

The research found that Sunderland had the most chaotic boots with 67 percent of road users vehicles being filled with clutter.

Chrissy Halton, expert at said items can become “forgotten” in a car boot which is often used for the “wrong reasons”.

She warned that cars can become a “bin on wheels” which will see drivers spend more money on running costs.

She said: “These stats are fascinating, but not altogether surprising.

“The car boot is one of those places like your loft where, once things go in there, they can all too easily be forgotten. It’s very much a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

“Used right, your car boot is an amazingly useful part of day-to-day life and can be a real bonus.

“However, when used for the wrong reasons, it just ends up being a storage trunk on wheels.

“Or, worse still, a bin on wheels. Not only is this frustrating, but it’s also a money waster as it will cost you more in petrol to drive around in a heavier car.”

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