Motorists across the country let out sighs of relief when the recent drop in fuel prices were announced. The cost of petrol has decreased by 95 cents, however drivers would still do well to keep within a sensible fuel budget and consider ways to keep their fuel use to a minimum.

Until now, petrol prices had been steadily increasing all year; in January, petrol cost R13.79 per litre, and this price rose to the most recent R15.61. This price spike was attributed to the weakening rand and the unchanging oil prices.

Saving fuel is something that’s good for everyone regardless of petrol prices. Making smarter route choices or even buying a car which is light on petrol use could be some of the ways to do this. Here are some tips on how to save on petrol from

– Accelerate slowly and anticipate your stops to avoid braking frequently. Not only are you keeping your car in good condition, but you’re saving fuel by not chasing green lights

– Keeping to the speed limit has perks. Not only will you avoid fines, but you’ll also place less of a strain on the engine. Dropping your speed from 110km/hour to 90km/hour could drop your fuel usage by as much as 25

– Switch your air-conditioning off when driving around town and only opt to activate it during long trips to optimise your fuel efficiency.

-The heavier your car, the more fuel it will consume. Some experts say that for every 50kg of additional load, your fuel consumption increases by 2%. So remove all those unnecessary things from your boot.

-Think ahead to where you need to go and the route you’re likely to take. Even if it is just heading to the office and back home, consider shorter, less congested routes. And if you have errands to run, plan the order of stores so you don’t end up duplicating routes.

-While lift clubs might sound like a novelty in an age of Uber, they are a great way to bring down monthly fuel bills. And this puts less strain on your car

-Remember to check your tyre pressure on a monthly basis and your wheel alignment at least twice a year as both can result in higher fuel consumption if they’re not optimised

-Service your car regularly as it ensures it’s as fuel efficient as possible. Things like cleaning (or replacing) the air filter and monitoring if the car is idling at the right level all help out

-As we head into winter, it might be tempting to idle your car a bit to warm up, but it just wastes fuel

– Because the price of diesel is not regulated in South Africa, it is worthwhile shopping around for the best price.


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