As finance minister Pravin Gordhan recently announced in his 2017 budget speech, the price of petrol will be going up by 39 cents per litre as of 1 April 2017. 30 Cents will go towards the general fuel levy and the extra 9 cents towards the Road Accident Fund (RAF). The rise in fuel prices means that, once again, we have to tighten our belts. With some helpful tips from busy moms, we’ve created five simple steps to help you cut down your fuel costs.
1. Plan ahead
Laura le Roux, founder and author of the lifestyle blog Harassed Mom spends a lot of time driving her kids around. Her top tip is to plan ahead. “Planning my trips really does help save me a lot of fuel. Sometimes it does mean one child has to wait a bit but it saves a lot of petrol by driving a route that makes sense instead of up and down unnecessarily. I also try to plan my meetings so that meetings in Joburg are all in the same day, saving me multiple trips from Pretoria. If I have a few meetings during the day I will work from the nearest coffee shop instead of going home in between or before I fetch the kids.”
2. Turn off the air-conditioner
While we do live in a country where temperatures can reach up to 38° celsius, and there’s nothing better than getting into a cool car for your journey ahead on a hot day, putting the air-conditioner on increases the amount of fuel used in order help the alternator cool the incoming air down. When the temperature isn’t too hot refrain from using the air-conditioner as it could increase your fuel consumption by up to 10%.
3. Maintain your vehicle
Jolene van Niekerk, founder and author of the lifestyle and educational blog, Monsters Ed recommends regular maintenance to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption. “Maintain your vehicle properly, service your car regularly, keep it well tuned and maintain the correct tyre pressure as recommended by the manufacturer.” A vehicle that hasn’t been serviced regularly can lead to unexpected and costly repairs, and tyres without enough air in them cause the car to use more fuel in order to move at the speed you require. Taking care of your car also comes in the form Car Insurance, where you’ll be covered financially in the event it needs to be repaired after an accident.
4. Drive Carefully
Driving carefully not only reduces your risk of having an accident, but also saves the amount of fuel you use. What is known as stop-start driving, where you stop suddenly and accelerate quickly throughout your journey, is harsh on your vehicle and uses more petrol as your engine works harder than usual to keep up. Accelerating and braking gently will place less stress on the engine and won’t use as much fuel to keep you moving.
5. Watch what you put in your car
The more your car weighs, the harder it has to work to keep moving. Essentially more fuel has to be used in order to keep your car moving if it weighs more, especially when you accelerate. If you’re keeping unnecessary items in your car, they might be adding to its weight and putting strain on the engine. Things like roof racks, trailers, bags and heavy items in the boot all add to it’s weight and can be removed if not in use. So next time you set off on the road, check what items you may be storing and take them out if they’re not needed for your journey ahead.
With an increase in the petrol price looming now is the time to start thinking about the different ways you can be economical with the fuel you put in your car. Keep these tips in mind the next time you fill up and you’ll be on your way to maximising your fuel and reducing your daily consumption.