British drivers look for best route to fuel saving

British drivers look for best route to fuel saving  
Filed under:
News, Ford
on 07/20/2010

Source: Ford UK

Ford is using cutting edge technology to provide tailored advice on the best way for customers to save fuel.

Using a small electronic data-logger to record driving behaviour, Ford technicians use sophisticated software to recommend ways of improving fuel economy and saving money.

This service, called "Econo Check" provides the answer to data highlighted by new research² which has revealed that British drivers are concerned over fuel prices, but confused over how to ease the pressure on their finances.

Across the UK, 93 per cent of drivers interviewed for Ford by YouGov expressed concern over rising fuel prices, particularly with a VAT increase and fuel duty rise both planned for January 2011. This concern is most acute among drivers in Wales, where this figure rises to 97 per cent, and among 45-54 year olds (95 per cent).

AA president, Edmund King, said: “We estimate that motorists will, by January, be paying 4.63p a litre more for petrol and 4.68p a litre more for diesel than they are now.”

Yet there is confusion over how to make motoring money go further: 16 per cent have ‘down-sized’ to smaller cars to save fuel, while 21 per cent have switched to diesel cars in an attempt to cut costs. At the same time, 15 per cent have postponed servicing their current car and five per cent have removed roof or bike racks. Overall, two per cent even confessed to excluding passengers to reduce weight in their car – a figure at its highest (5 per cent) for 18-24 year olds.

Just 50 per cent have considered modifying their own driving style to improve their car’s fuel consumption, a figure which drops to 45 per cent among 25-34 year olds and drivers in London. Women are also less likely to consider this option: 45 per cent have considered easing off the accelerator, compared with 56 per cent of men.

Surprisingly, 15 per cent confessed they didn’t know how to reduce their fuel consumption at all.

Ford’s own tests have shown that economical driving and good maintenance can reduce fuel bills by up to 25 per cent, or £470 a year.

Andy Barratt, Ford customer service director, explained: "With fuel prices on the rise, it's timely that we're able to uniquely help Ford customers with a way to reduce their fuel bill by up to 25 per cent"

Ford is launching a service to its customers, called "Econo Check", which addresses this need. Customers with most Ford vehicles registered after 1998 can sign up for a 35-point vehicle inspection and to have their driving monitored for one week, using a small data logger fitted to their vehicle.

A Ford technician will check tyre pressure and condition, air filter cleanliness during a 15-minute inspection, after which the customer is invited to drive as normal for one week with the data logger fitted, then return it to have their data downloaded and compiled into a simple, personalised report.

The report will reveal data on average speed, anticipation, braking and gear changes, recommending where driving style adjustments could improve fuel economy and emissions and showing the total fuel savings possible.

Andy Barratt said: “As market leader, Ford is first in offering such an opportunity to so many drivers and so many cars. We have already invested heavily in bringing the most efficient technologies into our new cars, such as ECOnetic diesel models and EcoBoost petrol-engined vehicles. Now, we’re making a commitment through our dealers to help drivers cut running costs further, through smarter driving.”

A Ford Econo Check costs £29.99 (RRP), with £15 refundable against the customer's next scheduled service. An additional £15 BP Ultimate fuel cashback voucher is on offer, for a limited period.

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