12 easy ways to save petrol and money on your car each month

Fuel prices are expect to rise again over the next few months, thanks mainly to rising oil prices, while locally, motorists can expect another hike in the general fuel and Road Accident fund levies, and the addition of a carbon tax as announced in this week’s budget speech.

In his budget speech on Wednesday (20 February), finance minister Tito Mboweni said that the general fuel levy will be increased by 15 cents a litre for petrol and diesel from 3 April.

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy will also increase by 5 cents a litre for petrol and diesel on the same date.

As expected, the introduction of South Africa’s Carbon Tax will see an additional 9 cents per litre on petrol and 10 cents per litre on diesel added – however, this change will come into effect from 5 June.

“With relentless fuel price increases, and the budget about to beat us on the head again, it’s time to think smart about how to save serious money from your motoring spend,” said Gumtree Auto’s Jeff Osborne.

As a result, Osborne provides a list of easy-to-implement tips to save on your monthly motoring costs.

  • Fill up before petrol price increases or hold on until a reduced rate is implemented.
  • If you have a diesel vehicle, hunt around for the cheapest rate.
  • Use one, or several, of the many loyalty programmes to get “free” petrol.
  • Learn how to optimize fuel consumption with smooth driving which means less braking.
  • Save fuel by not excessively revving the car when you start it.
  • Stick to the speed limit – not only is it safer but speeding uses more petrol.
  • Improve fuel economy by removing extra weight or resistance – empty your boot and take off roof racks when they’re not needed.
  • Air conditioning costs you fuel, but open windows can cause uneconomic air resistance at higher speeds, so, if you can drive with windows closed and just a circulating fan on, you will be travelling optimally.
  • Do your driving where possible in non-peak times – you will use less petrol on a quicker trip without constant stopping and starting.
  • Good tyres, properly balanced, will last longer and drive smoother than cheap ones – saving you money on fuel consumption and replacements.
  • Check tyre pressures constantly – an RAC study in the UK found that tyres under-inflated by only 15psi can use 6% more fuel.
  • Negotiate car insurance rates – it’s a very competitive market now so seek better offers.

Read: You will soon be taxed R280 every time you fill up with petrol

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12 easy ways to save petrol and money on your car each month