South Africans are feeling the pain at the pumps, but a simple shift in motorist behaviour can help with fuel costs for those in major urban areas.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, South Africans have had to pay excessive fuel prices due to the rise in international oil prices – worsened by the rand’s weakness.
Currently, inland South Africans are spending R23.90 for a litre of 95 Petrol. This is after South African motorists were subjected to an inland price of R25.68 per litre of 95 in October.
Although South Africans can expect more petrol and diesel price cuts in December, there are still several ways to reduce their fuel use.
The Discovery’s Drive Trends Report analysed the driving behaviour of over 240,000 drivers on Discovery Insure’s Vitality Drive programme. It showed that South African consumers are reducing their fuel intake when petrol prices increase beyond R24 per litre, with clients taking five fewer work trips per month.
The report also showed that denser traffic conditions have higher fuel consumption, with Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape consumers having an average fuel consumption of nearly 1 litre per 100km more than that of customers in the other provinces.
Limpopo, for instance, sees an average fuel consumption of 6 litres per 100km. Discovery said that if Gauteng drivers had the same fuel efficiency as Limpopo drivers, they would be able to save nearly 20% of their average fuel expense over the month.
A way that South Africans in populated areas can improve their fuel efficiency is by leaving for work earlier in the day.
According to the report, peak driving time for the morning is 6:45 am, showing that most people start work at the office between 7 am and 8 am.
However, Robert Attwell, CEO of Discovery Insure, said South Africans could optimise their workday ETAs by changing their departure time.
Instead of starting a drive between 7 am and 8 am, drivers can spend 14% less time on the road by leaving their houses between 6 am and 7 am.
Drivers can also save 11% if they leave after 8 am.
“We all know that every minute stuck in traffic counts, especially during load shedding and with the fuel price,” Discovery said.