‘Does cruise control increase fuel consumption?’ [Newbie Guide]   

Updated Feb 24, 2023 | Same topic: Beginner's Guide

Many drivers are still fascinated yet confused by this feature.

It’s a relatively new feature in the local market, but the introduction of cruise control is a welcome development as far as new cars are concerned. New drivers would do well to learn about this feature and its contribution to better driving, especially when going on trips out of town. 

Cruise control button

Cruise control is your friend on long drives

What is it for? Cruise control allows you to maintain the vehicle’s speed without having to keep stepping or modulating pressure on the gas pedal. The way this works is that when engaged, a servomechanism takes over your foot in controlling the vehicle’s throttle, ensuring that it does not leave the speed that you set (usually at a minimum of 40 kilometers per hour). 

Some of the benefits that cruise control brings are improved comfort and reduced driver fatigue on long drives, along with helping motorists avoid violating speed limits on highways. But since it continuously keeps the throttle engaged, does cruise control negatively affect the vehicle’s fuel efficiency? 

Foot on gas pedal

Not having to step constantly on the gas pedal is good for your car's fuel consumption

Not exactly, at least when conditions are right. Because cruise control provides consistent throttle input, it removes the need for you to constantly press and release the gas pedal which would otherwise increase fuel consumption due to a sore foot or inattentiveness. This is especially useful on long stretches of flat roads with little to no traffic, helping motorists to better focus on the road ahead while using up less fuel. 

But there is a significant caveat to using cruise control. If the feature is engaged when driving on hilly or uneven terrain, the mechanism will increase throttle input just to keep up with the speed that you set. In that case, the vehicle has no choice but to use up more fuel, negating the savings you might have gained on flat roads.     

Winding mountain road

On inclined roads, cruise control consumes more fuel as it struggles to keep up with your set speed

And if you use cruise control in adverse weather conditions such as rain, saving money on fuel pales in comparison to expenses you can potentially rack up when your car gets into an accident.  

Visit Philkotse.com, you can find more tips for beginner driver


Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

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