Feeling the pain at the pumps? Following four consecutive monthly petrol hikes that have seen prices rise almost R2 per litre up to R16.68/l, now’s the time drivers need to smarten up to save every drop.
William Miller and Renaldo de Jager, the co-founders of auction.co.za, offer readers their best tips to save at the pumps.
1 | Smooth driving
Slow and steady wins the race! 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.
2 | Speed
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%.
3 | Aircon or no aircon?
Switch your air-conditioning off when driving around town and only opt to activate it during long trips to optimise your fuel efficiency.
4 | Is your boot weighing you down?
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.
5 | Plan your journey
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.
6 | Join forces
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.
7 | Your wheels
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.
8 | General maintenance
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.
9 | Reduce your warm-up time
As we head into winter, it might be tempting to idle your car a bit to warm up, but it just wastes fuel.
10 | Shop around for diesel
Because the price of diesel is not regulated in South Africa, it is worthwhile shopping around for the best price.
11 | Bonus tip
Log on now to www.auction.co.za to find a more fuel-efficient car.