How to cut your fuel costs

Petrol

Kamogelo Olaitan

South Africa’s fuel price hikes are far from over.

In the past few months the country saw fuel prices surging beyond the R20 per litre mark for the first time in history.

As we look at a number of driving and refuelling habits one can use to reduce fuel consumption, experts say driving at a lower speed than the limit will save fuel.

According to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA), driving at 110km per hour instead of 120km/h can save your petrol bill in the long run and will also keep your car running more efficiently.

Here are more ways to use less fuel:

  • Accelerate gently

The harder you accelerate the more fuel you use. Take five seconds to accelerate your car up to

20km/h from a stop.

  • Service your vehicle

A well-maintained car uses between 10 and 20% less fuel than an improperly maintained vehicle. The AA advises that you maintain and service your vehicle regularly to make sure it runs efficiently.

  • Avoid overloading your car

Overloading your car makes the engine work harder, using more fuel in the process. Pack lightly, and remember to remove unused heavy items like bike racks or a roof box from your car when not in use.

  • Avoid short trips

Trips of 2km or less use more fuel than longer trips. If you have to run errands, combine the trips into one longer one.This is because once your car is parked for a few hours, the engine has cooled down and it will use more fuel for the first 10km.

  • Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your owner’s manual. Underinflated and overinflated tyres affect fuel consumption as well.
  • When driving in the city, try to pull away from robots or stop in streets slowly and gradually.