Become petrol wise
Become petrol wise
The petrol price in South Africa recently hit an all-time high, which means that we're getting fewer kilometres for our money. There are ways to save fuel, though, if you're prepared to change your driving style:
1. Anticipate: Look as far ahead as you can while driving. Saving fuel is all about anticipating when you will have to stop, and keeping moving as much as you can. Every time you brake, you are in effect wasting fuel, because you will need to accelerate again. If you see traffic ahead of you, slow down far in advance so that by the time you reach the traffic it has started moving again.
2. Don't speed: The faster you go, the more wind resistance your car encounters. On the highway, maintain a lower speed to be most efficient – driving at 120km/h uses 25% more fuel than driving at 90km/h. Also, when you accelerate hard, you burn a lot of fuel, so try to accelerate gradually for maximum efficiency.
3. Be aerodynamic: Don't leave window open or leave roof racks/roof top boxes on your car. These all create more wind resistance and increase fuel consumption.
4. Under pressure: Tyres that are under their correct pressure will create more rolling resistance and increase your fuel consumption. Check the tyre pressures every time you fill up with fuel, and also get your wheel aligned regularly.
5. Service is key: A well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel, so make sure you stick to the recommended service schedule for your car.
6. Be cool: Air-con and heating your car use fuel, so don't leave these on when they're not needed.
Then there are the very obvious ones:
7. Don't drive unless you have to: Plan ahead so that you don't make unnecessary journeys: write shopping lists, make sure you don't forget anything at home, and form lift clubs for the school run.
8. Choose a more economical vehicle: If you're buying a new vehicle, make sure you look at the claimed average fuel consumption before you make your choice. Cars with smaller engines are generally more efficient than those with larger engines. Petrol-electric hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, Hybrid Corolla and the hybrid Lexus range are also particularly efficient, especially in heavy traffic. Turbodiesel vehicles also use less fuel than their petrol equivalents.