Fuel price: six ways to save R60

2012-04-03 09:11

British road users, as here in South Africa, are being hit big-time by fuel price increases. So why not hit back with better driving techniques?

The Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK is advising motorists there to drive smart rather than stockpile fuel against a feared tanker-drivers’ strike.

South Africans might not need to stockpile fuel, but driving smart sounds just as good here as the petrol price tops R12 a litre.

How to save R60
The institute says many drivers could easily cut consumption by 10% – that, for a normal family car, is about R60 a tank.

The institute’s chief executive Simon Best said: “Green driving techniques can easily improve fuel efficiency by 10%.”

So, here are the institute’s easy tips on how to do it:

» Read the road ahead and try to anticipate what the traffic around you will do, for example, at traffic lights, roundabouts and junctions. There’s no use accelerating just to have to brake 50m down the road;

» Cruise control is useful and economical for smooth driving on long journeys, but turn it off on a long hill;

» Stick to the speed limit. Reducing speed from 120km/h to 100km/h can save a litre of petrol every 100km;

» Switch off your engine if you’re going to stop for more than 30 seconds; some cars have this feature installed so consider buying one;

» Lighten up – and not just on your aggressive driving. Junk in the boot (leave your golf clubs at home), a roof rack or an empty roof-box all increase fuel consumption. In fact, the last two cost more as drag increases with speed; and

» Check your tyres. Under-inflated tyres will increase fuel consumption by as much as 3% – that, all other things being equal, equates to R18 per tank. After all, the air is free. Check tyre pressures, before they warm up with driving, at least once a month.

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