Does fast driving consume more fuel than slow driving?


Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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There are factors responsible for fuel consumption. Car speed is one of them. Between fast driving and slow driving, which one consumes more fuel? Read this to find out!

Fuel consumption is an important concern among car users. There are predictions that futuristic cars will run on other substances. But for now, most cars need fuel to move an inch. It isn’t a one-off but a routine.

The more fuel your car consumes, the more money you spend. Hence, ensuring that your car consumes as minimal fuel as possible is of utmost importance. This gives rise to the question about fast driving and slow driving. Which one consumes fuel more? You’d like to know the answer to the question, wouldn’t you? has your best interest at heart. That explains why we have put this piece together.

Fast driving vs slow driving in fuel consumption

There are some factors in a car speed that determine the quantity of fuel consumed. To arrive at a conclusion, it’s important to understand the variables involved and how they work. Without further ado, let’s unravel the mystery.

1. Upshot – slow speed

Right in every vehicle, lies the hub bulge that reflects the impact of car speed – slow, middle or fast on the quantity of fuel consumed by the car engine. An average engine does an RPM turning of 1,300. Despite enduring the low speed, the gear remains in the lower gear position.

Consequently, regular RPM spinning absorbs more fuel for every fuel consumption. By this explanation, slow driving isn’t always favorable for fuel management.

2. Efficiency of sweet spot in vehicles

Average speed is what’s referred to as sweet spot. It goes between the mph range of 30-50. Air resistance at this speed is low. This leads to transmissions that are high enough to attain substantial distance for each rev.

What this simply means is that it’s easier for the car to arrive at the middle when it moves at low speed on high load road. There are a number of factors responsible for road load. They include:

  • Quantity needed to drag the tires: Big cars like SUVs have higher weight than the smaller ones.
  • Frontal area: The frontal area is determined by the car size. The bigger the car, the bigger the frontal area, and vice versa. This explains why the frontal area of SUVs is way bigger than that of smaller cars.

>>> If you want to save fuel, let's start with car AC: 6 tips for saving fuel while using A/C in any car


Fast driving often consumes more fuel but it's not always the case

3. Fast speed fuel consumption

Cars are often made to move on high speed – that’s how you get to your destination on time. However, when you move on high speed, the transmission attains the higher gear modes, creating chances for a 1000 – 3000mph glide.  However, it’s possible for the locomotive to disseminate a little quantity of revs/m, using little fuel.

Air opposition is small while moving slowly but increases up to four times when you double each speed. Hence, the engine has to work harder in order to survive the air resistance. As a result of this, there’s a reduction in the mileage in line with the increment in velocity. In regard to this, fast driving consumes more fuel.

Fast driving takes more fuel especially due to energy consumed in taking up haul that increases along with the speed. However, in various cars, a threshold is set as the burning up increases. The average car on the road today hits this threshold at about 120kmph. Same cannot be said for stronger and higher cars because they have a higher threshold.


To answer the question: Do fast driving cars consume more fuel than slow driving cars? None of them is the better option. Moderate speed takes the cake. Don’t go too fast and don’t go too slow. Not only will you be protecting yourself from the dangers of high speed, you’ll also be saving up some money when you stay in the middle.

>>> Check FAQs with auto experts on for more safe driving tips and car care advice!

Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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