With fuel prices slowly increasing over recent years, here's how you can lower your fuel bills
6 January 2020| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Want to save on petrol? Here are some top tips to follow...
Here in the UAE, drivers enjoy some of the lowest-priced fuel in the world. Nevertheless, fuel prices have followed a steady upward trend over the last few years, since the cost of fuel has been determined by global oil prices since 2016.
As a result, petrol prices here in Dubai can fluctuate by up to 5% from month to month.
To help save your Dirhams, we spoke to experts at Expat Motors in search of top tips on how you can reduce your fuel usage, and save on your petrol bills.
1. Check your tyres
Unbeknownst to most, a vehicle's tyre quality can in fact have a huge impact on how it performs on the road. As a Dubai driver, you should regularly check your tyre pressure to make sure they're all correct. Low pressure will cause higher rolling road resistance, and increase the workload for your engine - not to mention damaging those expensive bits of rubber!
2. Have regular servicing
Ensuring your vehicle is regularly serviced will mean it performs more efficiently. Fluids and filters over time can become dirty and clogged, and therefore your engine will have to work that much harder to send out its power to the wheels.
Most modern vehicles will give you a notification to let you know of any upcoming or overdue service. Or alternatively, you can check your service record book. Every 10 to 15 thousand kilometres, 12 months or whichever comes first would be a normal service interval.
Don't have your service book? Don't be afraid to call up the dealer or service centre for your last visit details.
3. Improve your driving style
Simply put - the harder you press, the more it will cost. Every time you accelerate quickly or brake too hard your car will ultimately end up with you using more fuel. If you aim to drive with a gentle driving style, this will help to reduce the amount of fuel your car uses. Keeping your distance from the car in front of you and looking a few steps ahead will help you to reduce harsh braking.
4. Plan your route
Stopping and starting driving can have a huge impact on your fuel economy. Regularly accelerating and breaking whilst travelling short distances is dubbed 'urban' driving, and is less fuel-efficient than 'highway' driving. Therefore, it's advisable that you avoid driving through built-up areas and traffic to get to your destination. It might be further (and longer) to travel, but it can actually save you fuel.
5. Clean out your junk
Manufacturers spend millions on research and development to make vehicles as light as possible to help make them fuel-efficient. But most of us have unnecessary items in our cars - adding extra weight to our cars! Combine this with driving thousands of kilometres, and your fuel economy will be reduced and will cost you more in petrol.
Instead, regularly clear out your car. Have a look throughout the vehicle and remove items you don't use on a regular basis.
6. Air conditioning and windows
During summer, we all need to use air conditioning to keep us cool. But A/C systems in vehicles can use up to one litre of fuel per hour. Instead, keeping these systems running on a lower speed constantly will help to regulate the temperature, use less power, and ultimately less fuel.
If your vehicle is fitted with an automatic temperature setting, it's advised that you use it to keep the power usage low. Better still, if you don't need it - turn it off altogether.
During winter, Dubai drivers prefer to lower the windows to feel the cool breeze outside that we miss during the hotter months. Plus, if turning off the A/C completely saves, it's a win-win, right? Wrong. In fact, lowering the windows to the bottom and travelling at speed increases something called 'drag'.
Manufacturers actually design vehicles to cut and slice through the air as much as possible to help increase fuel efficiency. Lowering your car's windows at speed means you increase drag, and make your engine work harder. Instead, try lowering the windows a little less and keep them up at high speed.
Applying heat control film to your windows will also help keep the temperature lower in your vehicle. Less heat means less A/C usage, and you guessed it, less fuel.
7. Use cruise control
Many of today's vehicles have cruise control. These systems allow the driver to maintain a constant speed and adjust it as required. On long journeys, especially during low traffic times, using your cruise control is a great way to lower your fuel bills. Plus, setting your cruise to a lower speed will help as a double Dirham saver!