Fuel prices are on the rise in the UAE. In January, prices went up by a little over 5%, thanks largely to the introduction of value-added tax (VAT). And with oil prices having risen over the past couple of weeks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see fuel prices rise again in February.
Many people will take this news as confirmation that, really, they can’t justify a big, thirsty SUV anymore. And while, in some cases, a smaller, more fuel-efficient car may be the answer, in many others, the fuel price rises can be beaten by simply changing your driving style.
That’s according to the boffins at Ford, anyway. The company recently conducted a series of studies that found drivers can slash both their fuel bills and their emissions by adopting an eco-driving style. Indeed, Ford reckons savings of up to 25% can be found if you drive with fuel efficiency in mind.
Naturally you’ll want to get in on the action if it cuts your fuel costs. So simply follow Ford’s five top tips for eco-driving, and see how much you can save!
Look far ahead and anticipate road situations to smoothly adjust your speed, accelerating and braking. Aggressive driving such as rapid acceleration, speeding and braking can lower your fuel mileage significantly. Keep a constant speed, accelerate smoothly, brake softer and earlier, and stay in one lane while it’s safe to do so. Not only do these anticipatory driving techniques save fuel, they enable more relaxed and safer driving and can prolong the life of your brakes and tyres.
Use cruise control
Using cruise control on long stretches of highway helps maintain speed and conserve fuel. Activating your cruise control maintains a constant speed, and avoids using additional fuel while accelerating. Try to set your cruise control at your vehicle’s most fuel-efficient speed (which you can find online), as long as it’s at or below the legal limit and safe to do so.
Lighten the load
Reducing the amount of cargo you keep in your boot or back seat can improve your fuel efficiency as less energy is needed for acceleration. Try to travel as lightly as possible, keeping only the most important items in your vehicle.
Speeding wastes lots of fuel. By driving 90km/h instead of 100km/h, you can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 10% to 15%. After all, pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine, emptying the fuel tank faster.
Reduce aerodynamic drag
Your vehicle is designed for good aerodynamics, but attaching a carrier or bike to the roof adds more wind resistance. If you spend lots of time on the highway or are planning a long trip, try to transport extra items inside the vehicle or attached to the rear. Keeping your windows and sunroof closed can lower wind resistance, too. Reduced drag means better fuel economy.