10 ways to save on your petrol bill

As major retail chains begin to decorate their shops with festive cheer, it provides us with a visual reminder that we’re closing in on that time of year when we’ll be spending more money than usual.

Fortunately, South African motorists saw one of its biggest ever petrol price drops on Wednesday, with the price for both grades – 93 and 95 of petrol – dropping by R1.84 per litre.

Diesel also fell by R1.45 and R1.47, and illuminating paraffin by R1.33.

The price cuts will have come as a relief for consumers after prices climbed to record-highs of R17.08 in November.

Nissan points out that the fuel efficiency of city cars, particularly those with small-capacity, turbo-charged engines is constantly improving and some compact cars are even on par with petrol-electric hybrids, which traditionally record very low consumption.

And a look at Naamsa’s latest list of bestselling vehicles for November 2018 shows that a number of such vehicles were at the top of the list, including the VW Polo, Ford Figo, and Fiesta, and the Toyota Yaris and Etios.

Nissan also pointed to its all-new Nissan Micra, “which will help you stretch your bucks even further as you start to splurge on Christmas gifts”. The Micra has a combined fuel consumption of just 5.1 litres per 100km.

“The fuel efficiency of cars such as the Micra can’t be overstated as there have been several fuel price increases that have had a financial impact on all consumers,” said Alda Gildenhuys, Nissan SA passenger vehicles product manager.

Nissan also provided 10 tips on how to save fuel:

  • One of the first aspects of driving in a fuel-efficient manner is to be aware of your driving style. If you drive like Lewis Hamilton during a Grand Prix race, you’re never going to save fuel, but if you concentrate on driving smoothly, your fuel will last longer.
  • Don’t constantly speed up and brake as this type of driving burns additional fuel. Try to rather keep your speed constant while accelerating and braking gradually.
  • Give yourself enough time to get to a destination and get into the habit of leaving early to ensure you aren’t forced into driving fast. Also try to avoid rush hour traffic.
  • Ensure that your car is serviced according to its service schedule as this will also help you identify fuel-sapping problems ahead of time.
  • Check your tyre pressure regularly as low tyre pressure will result in your engine working harder and burning more fuel to get those tyres moving.
  • If you use your vehicle to carry heavy objects, ensure that they are not in your car for longer than needs be as excess weight impacts on fuel economy.
  • Use cruise control whenever the opportunity presents itself as this technology accelerates and decelerates the vehicle smoothly.
  • Stick to the speed limit. You might think you’re saving time by breaking the law, but you’ll end up spending more on fuel if you drive fast and, of course, you’ll be spending more on traffic fines too.
  • Be aware of how you use the air-con as your car uses more fuel to power your air-con at low speeds as opposed to highway-cruising speeds.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and check navigation apps to choose the shortest, hassle-free route to your destination.

Read: Here is the official petrol price for December

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