HIGHEST-EVER FUEL PRICE: HERE’S HOW TO SAVE MONEY
Consumers are paying more than ever for fuel since April’s massive price hike of R1,00 a litre for 95 unleaded petrol and 95 cents for 93-octane. Diesel’s base price has increased by 62 cents for 50 ppm and 69 cents a litre for 500 ppm.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Motorists can mitigate the impact of these increases by reducing fuel consumption and limiting additional vehicle expenses. All it takes is a tweak to behaviour and some planning, said Nunben Dixon, head of automotive at Gumtree, to Wheels24. He recommends the following:
PLOT AND PLAN
Fire up your navigation apps to avoid traffic jams and maintain a constant speed, one of the best ways to keep fuel consumption steady. Move up to higher gears as quickly as possible but use gentle acceleration to get up to speed.
FEELING THE HEAT?
Your car’s air-conditioner can add as much as 5% to your vehicle’s fuel usage. Turn it off when the car’s idling or when the temperature inside is comfortable. Close the windows to avoid adding aerodynamic drag.
Keep your vehicle’s wear-and-tear items in tip-top shape. Brake gently to extend the life of the pads, make sure the tyres are inflated to the correct level and have the alignment and balance inspected frequently so that the rubber doesn’t wear irregularly.
GET THE RIGHT CAR
Balance your wants and needs. While a sportier, bigger car might be the dream, the impact on your wallet of fuelling and maintaining one is far greater than driving a smaller, more economical choice. Another option, of course, is to buy a diesel vehicle such as the efficient Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi instead of a petrol-powered alternative.
“Speeding, harsh acceleration and braking, and racing between traffic lights all increase fuel consumption by up to a third, so choosing to be a calmer driver helps reduce one’s monthly fuel expense,” said Dixon.