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Automatic transmissions are less efficient than manuals and do increase fuel consumption.
It can be as high as 20% more in some cases.
There isn't much you can really do about it except keep the vehicle serviced, check tyre pressures on a regular basis, don't carry excess loads when not required and don't run with a full tank. Where possible keep tank to about one third full.
If you carry a spare wheel consider using a repair kit instead. This can save weight and fuel but a lot of people don't like the thought of not carrying a spare.
Most new cars sold today come without a spare just to improve their consumption figures.
Thank you Mark, I had a feeling that would be the case and explains why it had such low mileage for age, when I purchased it. I shall continue, as always, I do have regular services and check my tyre pressures but will not go without a spare. I shall just be content with having a vehicle in good nick & with low mileage for age.
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