The best ways to save fuel in South Africa

 ·13 Apr 2024

South African motorists are facing yet another petrol price increase in May, but certain behaviours can help them save fuel.

In April, fuel prices increased for the third month in a row, increasing by between 58 and 67 cents, depending on the grade and region.

Diesel prices also shot up by 3 cents per litre inland. The situation was better for those on the coast, with a 4-cent decrease in diesel prices.

Looking ahead to May, the latest data is painting a bleak picture for next month, with prices lining up for another 30 cents per litre hike for petrol, with diesel faring much better (a 35 cents per litre cut is on the cards).

With the additional financial pressure for many households in South Africa, MasterDrive has provided a number of ways that South Africans can reduce their fuel consumption by changing their driving habits:

  • Speed savvy 
  • Fuel saving up to 20%

Reducing speed on the roads reduced rolling resistance and drag.

Motorists should thus reduce their speed by 20km/h to see the best fuel savings.

  • Defensive driving 
  • Fuel saving up to 20%

Defensive driving techniques, such as anticipating traffic conditions and watching 12 seconds ahead, can help reduce fuel consumption.

Training in defensive driving, remedial training and other systems can help with fuel-saving techniques.

  • RPM reduction 
  • Fuel saving up to 20%

For manual vehicles, RPMs above 3,000 decrease fuel efficiency.

Motorists should keep an eye on their rev counter and change gears before 3,000 RPMs.

  • Accelerating
  • Potential fuel saving of up to 15%.

Avoiding hard acceleration reduces stress on an engine and transmission.

One should thus accelerate gently and leave adequate following distances to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration.

  • Telematics
  • Potential fuel savings between 5-15%

Real-time telematics data allow for efficient route planning and modification of driving behaviours and other fuel-consuming habits.

Drivers should thus work with their telematics provider to obtain the necessary data to make informed decisions.

  • Tyres
  • Potential fuel saving of 3-5%

Correctly inflated tyres reduce rolling resistance.

Thus, a car’s tyre pressure should be checked to ensure that it matches the specifications of the original equipment manufacturer.

Read: Big interest rate shift on the cards for South Africa

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