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Fool-proof fuel saving

If you have not yet filled up your fuel tank, you missed your chance to evade the price increase. As from midnight on Tuesday, South Africans will see one of the single largest fuel price hikes so far. It will bring the price of petrol to over R21 per litre and future projections do not look that much more promising. According to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, petrol will increase by R1.46/L and diesel will increase by R1.44/L.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says with the current world events, the price may not improve soon. “Projections for the fuel price hike this month were already over R1 per litre even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As the conflict develops and sanctions are placed, one of the biggest negative impacts is expected to be in fuel prices. Russia is the third largest producer of oil, accounting for over 12% of the global crude oil production.

“Motorists in South Africa may feel powerless to change the situation. While one can’t stop war, you do have the power to change the way you drive and potentially reduce your fuel consumption by up to 20%. The power to limit the effect of international affairs is partially in your hands,” says Herbert.

Herbert provides the following tips to reduce fuel consumption:

  • Watch 12 seconds ahead as you drive to anticipate changes to traffic conditions and minimise unnecessary braking and acceleration.
  • Reducing speed by 20km/h can reduce fuel consumption by 20% in certain circumstances
  • Drive defensively and responsibly. Fast lane changes, sudden acceleration, harsh braking and weaving between traffic increases fuel and maintenance costs
  • Plan your route
  • Use traffic apps and alerts to avoid traffic jams and congestion
  • Keep your RPMs around 3 000 as it can also reduce your consumption by 20%
  • Regular maintenance improves fuel efficiency
  • Remove unnecessary items from your car. Every extra 50kgs of weight increases fuel consumption by 2%
  • The most fuel-efficient way to drive is with windows closed and the air-conditioner off. That, however, is not always possible and an air-conditioner uses less fuel than an open window creating considerable drag.
  • Incorrectly inflated tires affect fuel consumption

Not just this month but potentially coming months are going to put strain on motorists’ pockets. “You have the power to reduce how extensive this strain is by implementing a few basic and easy to follow driving strategies into everyday travel,” says Herbert.