How Fast to Drive for the Best MPG

When it comes to maximizing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, the speed at which we travel plays a significant role. Studies have shown that maintaining a speed of around 55 miles per hour is the sweet spot for most vehicles in terms of achieving the best fuel economy. Going beyond this optimal speed, like cruising at 65 mph or higher, can cause a noticeable decrease in fuel efficiency, with a reduction of around 8 percent at 65 mph and a staggering 28 percent at 80 mph. The impact of speed on fuel consumption is undeniable, but it doesn't end there. Slowing down not only saves us money at the gas pump, but it also contributes to a greener and more sustainable future by reducing our carbon footprint. By simply easing off the accelerator and driving at a moderate pace, we’ve the power to make a positive impact on both our wallets and the environment.

At What Speed Is MPG the Best?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the optimal speed range for achieving the best fuel economy in a car is between 55-65mph. Research conducted by the Trust suggests that traveling within this speed range allows the engine to operate at it’s most efficient level, resulting in improved fuel efficiency.

As vehicle speed increases beyond this range, however, the fuel efficiency begins to decline rapidly. This decrease can be attributed to the increased aerodynamic drag that occurs at higher speeds. The faster a car travels, the greater the resistance it encounters from the air, causing the engine to work harder and consume more fuel.

It’s worth noting that individual car models may have slight variations in their optimal speed for achieving the best fuel economy. Factors such as aerodynamic design, engine specifications, and weight distribution can influence these variations.

By maintaining a steady speed within this optimal range, drivers can maximize their MPG (miles per gallon) and minimize their fuel costs. It’s important to emphasize that aggressive driving behaviors, such as rapid acceleration or braking, can also negatively impact fuel efficiency regardless of speed. Therefore, it’s recommended to adopt a smooth driving style and keep within the suggested speed range for optimal fuel economy.

Pushing beyond this range leads to a rapid decline in fuel efficiency due to increased aerodynamic drag. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to consider that other factors specific to each car model may come into play, making it important for individual drivers to keep track of their vehicles particular performance.

The Impact of Weather Conditions on Fuel Efficiency

Weather conditions can affect the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Factors such as strong winds, temperature extremes, and heavy precipitation can increase resistance and decrease fuel efficiency. This means that vehicles may consume more fuel to overcome these conditions and maintain their speed and performance. However, it’s important to note that the impact of weather on fuel efficiency can vary depending on the vehicle’s design, driver behavior, and other factors.


In recent years, the quest for fuel efficiency has become increasingly important in our efforts to combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint. While various factors contribute to a car's fuel efficiency, the speed at which we drive plays a crucial role. Going slightly above this optimal speed, such as 65 mph, can result in an 8 percent drop in efficiency. Pushing it further to 80 mph leads to a significant 28 percent decrease in fuel efficiency. This evidence highlights the importance of driving at moderate speeds to not only maximize mileage but also reduce the environmental impact of our vehicles. By consciously slowing down, we can contribute to a greener future and pave the way for a more sustainable transportation system.

Scroll to Top