How to stay ahead of fuel price increases

Improve your vehicles fuel consumption with these tips

Reuben Van Niekerk
Consumer advice
car shopping
fuel consumption
fuel price
money saving tips

This month sees another massive fuel price increase, that pushes South African fuel prices to a new all-time high. With budgets already stretched, most South African motorists are open to any suggestions on how to get a bit more from their tank.

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

Plan your travelling

One of the easiest ways to save fuel is to drive less. This can be done by proper planning. 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 to a certain area for an appointment, try group it together with other stops that you might need to make in the same area.

Where possible avoid rush hour as travelling during peak hours means a longer journey in terms of time and your car will thus use more fuel. Leaving timeously will also mean that you are less rushed and driving in a more relaxed fashion is a sure way of saving fuel.

Utilise navigation apps and loadshedding schedules to find the shortest or quickest routes and avoid traffic. Listen to traffic reports and try to avoid roads with broken traffic lights or additional congestion. Remember the less time you spend driving, the less fuel you will use.

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.

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Keeping an eye on what pedestrians and other cars are doing and anticipating what might happen next, will help to maintain steady, fuel efficient, progress.

Limit the use of 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.

Check your tyre pressures regularly

Incorrectly inflated tyres will have a massive impact on your cars fuel consumption, especially underinflated tyres. Tyres should be checked regularly and inflated according to the manufacturers recommended pressures for the weight you are carrying. Basic vehicle maintenance and servicing is also important because things like clogged filters and worn suspension can also impact fuel consumption. Be sure to service your vehicle in line with the manufacturers guidelines and have any issues attended to as soon as they become evident.

Lose the extra weight

Remove any unnecessary weight by removing any non-essential items from your vehicle. The same goes for unnecessary accessories like roof racks and bicycle carriers that not only add weight but also disrupt the aerodynamic properties of your vehicle.

Drive the right car for your needs

While these tips will go a long way in optimising the fuel consumption of your vehicle, having the right vehicle for your usage needs is the easiest way to save on fuel costs. Driving a large SUV when all your commuting is done in town is an example of the wrong car for the job. If you happen to be car shopping, investing in a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle is the easiest way to save money.

Brows a wide variety of new, used and demo vehicles available through the Motus dealer network here.