Fuel savings tips as prices reach record highs on Wednesday

South Africa’s petrol price will hit another record high on Wednesday, after the Department of Energy announced  yet another substantial increase in prices at the pumps.

According to the DoE, petrol will be climbing by 82 cents a litre for both 93 and 05 octane fuel, while diesel will be hiked between 85 and 87 cents per litre, and illuminating paraffin will go up by 82 cents.

This will take the official petrol price up to R15.54 for 93 octane, and R15.79 for 95 octane. Diesel (0.05% sulphur content) will hit R14.19.

According to the department, the average international product prices of petrol and diesel and illuminating paraffin increased during the period under review.

Additionally, the rand depreciated against the US dollar during the period under review, on average, when compared to the previous period.

On top of prevailing market conditions, the latest hike also takes into account the leftover under-recovery from April, according to the Automobile Association (AA).

The AA also warned this week that, should market conditions continue on the current path, motorists can expect yet another petrol price hike in July, with the price expected to shoot past R16 a litre on a steady march to R17 a litre.

The new petrol prices kick in on Wednesday, 6 June.

Fuel May official June official
95 Petrol R14.97 R15.79
93 Petrol R14.72 R15.54
0.05% Diesel (wholesale) R13.34 R14.19

Driver education company MasterDrive, also warned that further increases are expected in 2018, and may even continue into 2019, depending on the oil price.

It said that motorists need to start paying more attention to reducing fuel costs again.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, said there are a few simple techniques which all drivers can follow to reduce their fuel consumption. “One of the simplest is to avoid speeding. Reducing speed by 20kph in certain instances can reduce fuel consumption by 20%.

“Drivers who speed also often make abrupt lane changes, sudden acceleration and harsh braking. This increases both fuel consumption and wear and tear on your vehicle. Increasing your speed only makes minimal difference to trip times.”

Herbert also recommended keeping the engine revs between 2,500 and 3,000rpm. “This technique can also result in a savings of up to 20% in fuel consumption. It, however, is only possible if you adopt certain driving habits. One is planning your journey so you do not rush. Another is to avoid aggressive driving.

“Lastly, undergo training to learn how to drive defensively. Defensive driving will equip you with various skills which will not only have a direct impact on your safety on the roads but also on your fuel consumption. Changing how you accelerate, change your gears or learning to anticipate traffic changes can all impact your fuel usage,” said Herbert.

He said that by driving correctly, heavy goods vehicles (HGV) in particularly, can realise savings of up to 20% in fuel consumption.

Pieter Niemand, director of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), has also previously offered the following several tips for drivers to adopt to save on their fuel bill:

  • Accelerate at an even pace in traffic. Short bursts of the accelerator will increase fuel consumption.
  • Drive in a lane which has the least traffic ahead to maintain a constant speed. The engine management system will adjust the most economical settings for the best fuel consumption.
  • The first startup after a lengthy stand is the one which has the richest fuel mixture, therefore one must prevent harsh acceleration whilst the engine is still cold as this will spike the consumption figure dramatically. Do not idle a cold engine to warm it up, as this will not improve the fuel consumption nor lengthen the life of the engine.
  • If you are in a heavy traffic situation and the waiting times are lengthy, do not be afraid to turn off the engine and restart once the traffic starts moving again. Modern engines are now being equipped with this function to aid fuel saving. However prevent continuous switch-offs as this will drain the battery.

Read: Here is the official petrol price for June 2018

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Fuel savings tips as prices reach record highs on Wednesday