What will you give up so you can fill your tank?


Acouple of weeks ago, personal finance blogger @stealthy_wealth tweeted that the petrol price has, after accounting for inflation, actually reduced in price over the past five years.

This was based on a fuel price of R13.27/litre in September 2013 and a fuel price of R15.86/litre last month.

This represented an annual increase of 3.6% versus 5.5% for general inflation, and was in line with the average salary increase.

This week’s increase has taken us to R17 a litre, but, even with this increase, the petrol price has risen at just less than 5% a year over the past five years.

This is less than our grocery bills, water, electricity and school fees have increased by.

The problem is that the fuel price has not gone up in a nice straight line, which would allow us to absorb it with our annual salary increases.

It jumps up and down like a yo-yo and, unfortunately, when the petrol price falls, we seldom put that money away in savings – we usually just end up spending more on other stuff.

While putting the fuel price into some perspective may help rationalise the debates around fuel hikes, it doesn’t help the fact that we are going to be forking out an extra R50 per tank of petrol, which means there is R50 less available to spend on other stuff.

For example, you will have to give up two cappuccinos or a bottle of wine per tank of petrol to find that extra R50 in your budget.


Did you know that when you drive a car that has been parked for a few hours, the engine is cold and uses more fuel for the first 10 kilometers?

It will therefore be far more fuel efficient to combine all your errands into one trip rather than making multiple short journeys.

As the heat of summer hits us, rather than driving with your windows open, which creates drag and uses more fuel, keep them closed and use the air conditioner – surprisingly, this is more fuel efficient than we’ve been
led to believe.

Also, lose that extra weight. We are not talking about your physical weight, but rather all that junk you keep in the boot that is weighing your car down.

Finally, be a better driver. Rather than racing off from every stop street and accelerating past slow drivers, take it easy.

Harsh acceleration uses up a lot of fuel and you should aim to keep your speedometer at a steady 80km/h for the best fuel efficiency. – Maya Fisher-French


What will you have to give up to be able to fill your car as regularly as you need to?

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