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Petrol prices are at record highs – Here’s how you can reduce your consumption

With petrol prices in South Africa reaching new highs, MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert said motorists must optimise the way they drive.

Herbert said changing your driving style could help to reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 20% – and laid out the following tips on how to lower your fuel bill:

  • Plan your route
  • Correctly inflate your tyres
  • Regular vehicle maintenance
  • Drive defensively and responsibly
  • Reduce all driving speeds by 20km/h
  • Keep engine speeds around 3,000rpm
  • Anticipate changes to traffic conditions
  • Remove unnecessary items from your car
  • Drive with the windows closed
  • Use traffic apps and alerts to avoid traffic jams and congestion

Anticipating changes to traffic conditions can help you to cut down on unnecessary braking and acceleration, said Herbert.

The same is true of driving defensively. Aggressive driving tends to involve more acceleration, engine revving, and sudden braking which, in addition to being a more dangerous way of driving to you, is fuel inefficient.

Planning your route and using traffic apps can help you to avoid stop-start congestion, too, which can save both time and petrol.

When it’s hot and you need to cool off, remember that at higher speeds an air-conditioner uses less fuel than having the windows down – as this creates considerable drag.

Reducing weight in your car can also help, as every 50kg added to the car increases fuel consumption by 2%, said Herbert.

Current state of fuel prices

Herbert said this advice for changing your driving style must be taken note of, as fuel prices are unlikely to improve any time soon.

“Projections for the fuel price hike this month were already over R1 per litre, even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” said Herbert.

“As the conflict develops and sanctions are placed, one of the biggest negative impacts is expected to be in fuel prices. Russia is the third-largest producer of oil, accounting for over 12% of the global crude oil production.”

While the situation may appear bleak for South African motorists, good driving habits can help to reduce your average fuel consumption.



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