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What is MPG (miles per gallon)?

  • Combined, urban and extra-urban MPG
  • How does it affect my car?
  • Parkers explains the ins and outs

MPG (miles per gallon) is the prevalent measure of fuel economy in the UK. It is simply the number of miles a car can do on one gallon of fuel.

How do mpg fuel economy figures work?

Urban MPG is the number of miles a vehicle can do on a single imperial gallon of fuel in a city driving environment. Extra-urban MPG measures a vehicle’s efficiency on B-road/A-road/motorway driving environments.

Combined MPG measures a vehicle’s efficiency using a combination of urban and extra-urban driving conditions. Find out more and how you can improve your fuel economy in our handy guide.

Do I need it?

The more miles-per-gallon your car does, the less you’ll spend on fuel. Just remember that official claimed fuel economy figures are calculated in a test lab and won't be that representative of real-world motoring. This has become even more relevant after the VW emissions scandal of 2015.

Looking for more jargon-busting motoring meanings? Head over to our Parkers Car Glossary page and take a look at our other definitions