Drivers face £1,000 fines for ‘coasting’ in cars in misguided attempt to save fuel

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Drivers have been warned they could be fined £1,000 for coasting in neutral.

The fuel-saving method is a myth and can damage your car, while also limiting your control of the vehicle.

It is not illegal to coast downhill but if you are involved in a crash and are not deemed in control of your car you have committed a crime.

Drivers can be fined £1,000 fines or even be disqualified if they are involved in an accident while coasting, BirminghamLive reports.

Rule 122 of the Highway Code states that: “Coasting, a term describing a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down, can reduce driver control.”

Failure to have proper control of a vehicle can result in a potential fine of £1,000 or even discretionary disqualification, warns LeaseLoco.

John Wilmot, chief executive of LeaseLoco, said: “When we drive downhill in gear our engine ECU detects that the accelerator isn’t engaged and cuts fuel from going into the fuel injectors.

“We use no fuel or very little when driving downhill in gear. However, when we drive downhill in neutral our engine and wheels become disconnected.

“This forces a small amount of fuel to be sent to the engine due to the car not receiving the rotational power it needs from the wheels, instead of drawing that power directly from the wheels.”

Meanwhile new rules to end the controversial “loyalty penalty” for car and home insurance customers came into force on January 1.

The term “loyalty penalty” is used to describe price increases for customers who stick with the same insurance provider year after year and don’t shop around.

Many firms will offer cheaper deals to entice new customers, leaving loyal customers paying over the odds for sticking with the same insurance company.

The new measures – first announced back in May 2021 – put an end to this and should, in effect, mean existing policy holders are not paying more than new customers.

The finance watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), estimated Brits could save £4.2billion over 10 years because of the insurance shake-up.