5 easy ways to save petrol

 ·6 Aug 2023

As motorists face persistent petrol and diesel price increases, it’s always important to remind yourself of ways to spare a few litres of fuel as the costs of living in South Africa remain elevated.

South African motorists were hit with another financial knock this month and are now paying almost R23 per litre to fill up their cars as of Wednesday (2 August), with the cost of diesel and petrol climbing by around R0.71/72 and R0.37 per litre, respectively.

The cost of fuel is still below R25 per litre but is still hovering well above R20 per litre. Those who use petrol will receive almost one litre less per tank compared to last month, while diesel users can expect nearly two litres less – depending on the size of their tank.

As of Wednesday, inland 95 octane petrol and Diesel 0.005% cost R22.83/l and R20.52/l, respectively, while at the coast, it costs R22.11/l and R19.81/l, factoring in the slate levy and other costs.

Although fuel prices have decreased compared to the previous year, they have increased significantly in the current year. Specifically, petrol prices have increased by 6.7%, while diesel prices have decreased by 4.2%, despite experiencing consecutive hikes recently.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has stated that the August price hikes are primarily due to the increase in global petroleum prices. Additionally, the rand has shown an appreciation against the US Dollar during the reviewed period, on average, as compared to the previous period, which tempered the hikes.

The tables below show how much you pay to fill up your car’s tank with petrol and diesel inland in August compared to July 2023.


Tank size93 unleadedAdded cost95 unleadedAdded cost
37 litresR829.91+R13.69R844.71+R13.69
45 litresR1 009.35+R16.65R1 027.35+R16.65
60 litresR1 345.80+R22.20R1 369.80+R22.20
80 litresR1 794.40+R29.60R1 826.40+R29.60


Tank sizeDiesel 0.05%Added costDiesel 0.005%Added cost
37 litresR747.77+R26.64R759.24+R26.27
45 litresR909.45+R32.40R923.40+R31.95
60 litresR1 212.60+R43.20R1 231.20+R42.60
80 litresR1 616.80+R57.60R1 641.60+R56.80

Five ways to save petrol

With an uncertain economy and a fuel price that does not drop as fast as it rises, saving fuel at every opportunity is vital, said MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert.

“We have covered the most common methods to save fuel, such as avoiding speeding or not idling too long, on many occasions.” he said.

“However, there are other ways we may not immediately think of as having an effect on our fuel consumption.”

Five of the less commonly discussed potential enemies to fuel consumption, as outlined by Herbert, are listed below.

  • Low-quality engine oil – If you use oil with the incorrect viscosity, the pistons and other moveable parts are placed under more pressure which uses more fuel. Check your manual or ask your dealership for the correct engine oil, and do not neglect to change your oil at the correct mileage.
  • Tyre condition – Bad tyres have less traction and use more fuel as they spin faster to maintain speed. Low tyre pressure and not correctly aligned tyres can also consume more fuel. This is besides the other risk factors associated with tyres not being in the correct condition.
  • Avoid short trips – Trips less than 5km consume more fuel as the vehicles have not warmed up yet. Get all your chores done on the same day to get more kilometres from your tank. Conversely, on the other side of the debate, vehicles with newer technology do not need to be warmed up for longer than what is necessary to warm the interior or defog the windshield. Extended idling can potentially use more fuel than it can save.
  • Car servicing – Failure to replace spark plugs or fuel and air filters can increase fuel consumption. Worn fuel injectors also burn fuel faster. Do not neglect to replace faulty parts or neglect to service your vehicle on time.
  • Bad driving – Driving in the wrong gears results in driving with high RPMs. Accelerating harshly from a standstill or driving in high gears up hills or around corners uses more fuel. Manual vehicle drivers with poor clutch control or worn clutches can also cause increased consumption.

“Every effort one makes to conserve fuel makes a difference. When all of these are combined, the effect will be even greater,” said Herbert.

Read: South Africans bought 8 Ferraris last month – this is what they got

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