Coasting your car in neutral may lead to a hefty fine, as it is not an effective way to save petrol and can actually harm your vehicle. The common belief that coasting saves petrol is a misconception, and drivers who engage in this practice may also be at risk of a £1,000 fine for not being in full control of their car.
While it is not explicitly illegal to coast your car downhill, if you are involved in an accident and found to be not in complete control of your vehicle, you could be charged with an offence. According to Rule 122 of the Highway Code, coasting can reduce driver control and put you at risk of fines or disqualification.
John Wilmot, chief executive of LeaseLoco, explained that driving downhill in gear allows the engine to cut fuel when the accelerator isn’t engaged, leading to little to no fuel consumption. However, driving downhill in neutral disconnects the engine and wheels, causing the car to consume a small amount of fuel as it doesn’t receive the necessary rotational power from the wheels.