By Anja van den Berg
As of 7 April 2021, South Africans are forking out between R1 and 95 cents more per litre of petrol. The price of 95 (ULP and LRP) increased by R1 while the price of 93 (ULP and LRP) increased by 95 cents a litre. Diesel 0.05% increased by 65 cents per litre, while Diesel 0.005% increased by 63 cents per litre.
These prices don’t include the fuel tax hike. It goes without saying that citizens are not happy. Experts offer a few tips on what motorists can do to help them save on fuel:
- Take your car for a service when it is due
Maintenance and routine servicing will help you save on petrol. Make sure to check the quality of your tires as well as the tire pressure. Well-maintained tyres are essential for safe and economical driving. Correctly inflated tyres reduce drag on the road, improving your overall fuel economy.
Every extra kilo affects your fuel efficiency. Shed any unnecessary weight, keep your boot and back seat clear of cargo.
Switch off the engine when you are parked or stopping for more than 10 seconds.
If you drive a manual car, note that the higher gear you operate in, the lower your engine speed, improving fuel efficiency.
Speed not only kills, but can also cause your car to consume more fuel. Stick to a safe and fluent driving speed without sudden stops or harsh accelerations. Hard acceleration and rapid braking use much more energy than when you accelerate gently.
Wind resistance increases fuel consumption. Drive with your windows closed as open windows increase your car’s aerodynamic drag, especially at higher speeds. Remove the roof racks and boxes when not in use. Removing a roof-top cargo box can save as much as 20% on fuel over a year.
Interpret the road ahead, anticipating the actions of other drivers and potential hazards. Speed bumps, potholes and slow trucks can necessitate sudden braking or acceleration and damage to your car.
Air-conditioning increases fuel consumption, especially at low speeds. If it’s a hot day, use the air-conditioning for high-speed driving, but open the windows around town when your driving speed is slower and aerodynamics isn’t a critical factor in fuel consumption.
The most obvious and straightforward way to save on your fuel costs is to cut your car use. Try walking or cycling for shorter journeys, or car-sharing for your commute. If your household has more than one car, consider whether you truly need more than one vehicle. Selling one of your cars could give you some breathing space since you will shed the maintenance and costs of the vehicle.
East Coast Radio: https://www.ecr.co.za/lifestyle/family/south-africans-react-record-petrol-increase/
The Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-to-save-fuel-when-driving