Over the past year, South African consumers have faced petrol increase upon petrol increase, with the cost per litre up by R2 since January 2019. Sadly, there does not seem to be an end in sight, with more price escalations set for the months to come. These consecutive fuel hikes, together with tax increases and the ever increasing cost of electricity, food and other basic necessities, are causing middle class citizens to suffer financially.
While there is not much we can do about the rising costs of fuel, we can certainly do our best to drive as economically as possible when trying to save petrol. Our Less Debt team have compiled a few petrol saving tips to ensure that you are spending as little as possible on petrol.
Know when to use your air con
There is plenty of speculation that using your car’s air con takes a toll on your petrol, however few people realize that driving with open windows increases drag and slows down your car, in turn using more fuel to run. Try only using your car’s air con or rolling down windows when necessary, as both cause your car to use more petrol.
Keep the weight to a minimum
A lighter car uses less fuel, so avoid driving around with heavy and unnecessary items in your car for no reason, such as gym or music equipment, bikes and luggage. This is also a great excuse for a less cluttered car that does not get dirty as fast.
Maintain your car and tyres
Make sure that your car is regularly serviced and check for oil changes often. A car service will reveal any issues that may be causing you to use more petrol, while also maintaining engine efficiency. Also be sure your tyre pressure is correct, as low tyre pressure causes your engine to work harder and burn more fuel.
Know when to change gears
Don’t be afraid of using higher gears. Driving around in a lower gear puts strain on your engine, while moving up a gear usually uses less fuel. Driving in fifth and sixth gear or using cruise control are much more fuel efficient. Leave the racing and revving to the pros as focus on driving smoothly to save petrol.
Car pooling and lift clubs
Sharing your trips to and from work with a friend living close by not only saves on petrol but also makes traffic more bearable. Take turns driving and literally cut your petrol expenses in half when getting to work and back.
Slow down on the roads
The faster you drive your car the more fuel you will use. Avoid speeding (and the nasty fines that come along with it) to save petrol. Also avoid over-revving and stamping down on brakes and petrol. Slow down as you approach a speed bump rather than breaking and accelerating.
Don’t fill your tank to the top
So many of us do it, but in fact filling your car to the top is a waste of money, as exceeding the tanks capacity causes the fuel to evaporate. Always ask the petrol attendant to stop at the first click, or when the pump switches off automatically.
There are just a few ways that you can save on petrol.
At Less Debt, we provide reputable and National Credit Regulator (NCR) registered Debt Counselling and Debt Review services to South African citizens. Check in with us today to benefit from our professional services.