How to stay ahead of fuel price increases

Adopting these simple techniques can save you money at your next refuel

Reuben Van Niekerk
fuel saving
fuel consumption
fuel price

Unaudited data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) is pointing to fuel price hikes for all fuel grades in August dealing another blow for already cash-strapped South Africans.

Unleaded 95 petrol will increase by around 35 cents a litre, and unleaded 93 petrol by around 30c/l. But it’s the expected increases to diesel which are most concerning. Diesel will increase by around 72c/l which will, effectively, mean consumers will have to pay more for goods and services down the line. Illuminating paraffin, too, is expected to increase – also by around 72c/l.

The data is showing that the main driver behind the expected increases is international oil prices which escalated steadily throughout the month. Easing some of the pressure on fuel prices is the Rand which improved its value against the US Dollar throughout the month.

With almost monthly fuel price increases fuel consumption is becoming an increasingly more important factor in the car buying process. While driving a fuel-efficient car is one of the easiest ways to save on your monthly fuel spend, how you drive your car also has a massive effect on its fuel consumption.

Here are five tips to make your tank go quite a bit further.

1. Plan your travelling

One of the best ways to save fuel is to drive less. This can be done by proper planning, for example instead of going to the mall every day, rather allocate a bit more time and go once a week and do all your shopping. If you need to travel a fair distance for appointments, try group them with other stops that you need to make in the same area. Where possible avoid rush hour, travelling during peak hour means a longer journey in terms of time and your car will thus use more fuel. Leaving timeously will also mean you are less rushed and driving in a relaxed manner is a sure way of saving fuel.

2. Change your driving style

The way you drive your vehicle is the biggest contributor to how much fuel it uses. Avoid speeding up between intersections and excessively revving your vehicle. A smooth, gradual, acceleration technique is the most economical way to

drive, as is maintaining a constant speed on the highway and sticking to the speed limit.

3. Limit your use of the air conditioning

Your cars air conditioner can contribute as much as 5% to your fuel bill, especially when stationary. A good idea is to turn it off when you are standing still and switch it back on once you are up to speed.

4. Check your tyre pressures regularly

Underinflated tyres are a huge contributor to unnecessary fuel consumption. Tyres should be checked regularly and inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications for the amount of load you are carrying. The correct pressures are normally found in the doorframe or fuel flap of your vehicle or in the owner’s manual.

5. Lose that extra weight

Extra weight in your vehicle will also push up the fuel consumption. Remove any unnecessary weight by getting rid of any non-essential items. The same goes for unnecessary accessories like roof racks and bicycle carriers that not only add weight but also disrupt the aerodynamic properties of a vehicle.

6. Drive the right vehicle for the job

While these tips will go a long way in saving you a few rands, having the right vehicle for the job is the easiest way to save money. There is really no point in driving a big 4x4 everyday if you never go off-road or a large sedan if you mostly travel alone.

If you happen to be car-shopping, investing in a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle is the easiest way to save money. currently have a wide variety of fuel-efficient cars for sale on Once you have narrowed down your selection a convenient online comparison tool allows website visitors to accurately compare vehicles taking a variety of specifications and figures, such as fuel consumption into account, assisting shoppers to make an informed shopping decision.

Browse our wide select of fuel efficient cars here.