The continued increase in the petrol price means that expenditure on fuel is becoming an ever bigger monthly expense for every business and household. A few changes to your lifestyle and driving habits can make your fuel go further.
The easiest way to cut your fuel bill – and which will have the most pronounced effect on your wallet – is to change your driving style. Drive slower, do not speed up fast and rather coast to a stop than driving fast and braking hard. Rather leave earlier, relax and listen to some music. See your daily commute as a rare moment of quiet personal time.
A little bit of planning can cut out unnecessary kilometres. Just spend a minute to think of what you need to do and cut out driving all around town. Find a parking between your destinations and walk a few hundred metres. Think if you really need to go shopping today, or can it wait until tomorrow when you need to do something else as well.
A lift club is not for everybody, but can save a lot of money. Driving with somebody in the office or the building next door cuts the fuel cost in half. Or organise a lift for the kids.
Crawling along in first gear at 20km/h in heavy traffic uses a lot of fuel. Beat the traffic by leaving earlier or wait 10 minutes for traffic around the school to clear before driving off.
Check your tyres
Tyres are of the most important components of a car, and probably the most neglected. Checking tyre pressure costs nothing and takes only a few minutes. Correct tyre pressure reduces fuel consumption, as well as wear and tear. It also makes your car much safer.
Switch off the air conditioner
Most cars have air conditioners and we all use them constantly, despite SA’s mostly mild weather. Air conditioner units use a lot of an engine’s energy and increases fuel consumption by up to 15%. Switch if off on mild days and use only the air circulation fan.
Most banks and some retailers have linked up with fuel companies to offer some kind of loyalty scheme. Sign up for a suitable loyalty programme that gives you cash back, discount on vitamins or points to buy a new TV.
Service your car
Cars with dirty air filters, old oil and fouled spark plugs perform sluggishly and use more fuel. A quick service will make the engine more efficient and the savings in fuel will pay for the service within a few months.
And lastly, look at the fuel consumption if you are considering a new car.