Here's how 2021's fuel price increases have affected you as a motorist

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Filling up at a South African fuel station
Filling up at a South African fuel station
Per-Anders Pettersson

• Fuel prices saw a massive increase in August.

• Inland, motorists will now pay R18.11 for one litre of Petrol Unleaded 93.

• Fuel prices have been steadily increases in 2021.

For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24

South African motorists were dealt a massive blow in August when fuel reached record-high prices. Bar two months where fuel prices brought about a bit of relief, the majority of 2021 saw the prices increase between January to August.

On Wednesday, 3 August, fueling stations were lined with motorists waiting to refuel their vehicles as a massive 80c fuel hike would be implemented at midnight. Inland, motorists will now pay R18.11 for a litre of Petrol Unleaded 93, while it's slightly lower at the coast: R17.59.

While this will not favour the consumer's pocket, drivers should adopt driving styles that will stretch the fuel in their cars.

fuel gauge with red needle
Fuel gauge

Fuel prices in 2021

Petrol Unleaded 93: Inland

January - R14.69

February - R15.50

March - R16.15

April - R17.10

May - R17.01

June - R16.91

July - R17.20

August - R18.11

Petrol Unleaded 95: Coastal

January - R14.16

February - R14.97

March - R15.62

April - R16.61

May - R16.51

June - R16.41

July - R16.67

August - R17.58

Diesel 50ppm: Inland

January - R13.03

February - R13.62

March - R14.18

April - R14.80

May - R14.50

June - R14.71

July - R15.12

August - R15.66

Diesel 50ppm: Coastal

January - R12.43

February - R13.02

March - R13.58

April - R14.20

May - R13.90

June - R14.11

July - R14.52

August - R15.06

Fuel station in South Africa

Tips on saving fuel

Susan Steward from Budget Insurance notes that motorists can bring about small changes to their driving style to see a big difference. She notes: "A few minor changes could lead to big savings. R100 here and R50 there eventually add up to substantial savings over a year. The tweaks we can make on the road may seem insignificant, but could very well help you to buy other essentials, settle debt faster, save more or even go on that well-deserved family break."

She further notes that by driving smarter and maintaining your vehicle on a regular basis, you can save up to R20 000 a year.

Budget Insurance notes the following tips that could save you money:

1. Service smart: A car can burn up to 30% more fuel if proper maintenance is not performed on a regular schedule, so make sure that your vehicle is serviced regularly. Things like worn spark plugs, worn rings, faulty injectors, sticky brakes, low coolant levels, dirty oil, and dirty filters all lead to inefficiency and higher fuel consumption

2. Wheel wise: Check your car's wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment causes more friction, which takes more power to overcome and results in higher fuel consumption.

3. Pressure check: Check for underinflated tyres, as these, too, increase resistance.

4. Aircon costs a cool buck: Use the air conditioning only when necessary, as it places additional load on the engine.

5. Deadweight: Reduce the vehicle's weight by removing unnecessary items from it and, if you mostly do city driving, consider driving with only half a tank of fuel.

6. Nice and slow: Don't speed. The gas-guzzling effects of "stepping on it" are well-known.

7. Don't stop-start: Maintain momentum by looking and planning ahead, flowing with traffic and timing your approaches to hills, traffic lights and crossings better.

8. Geared for efficiency: Drive at the lowest speed in the highest gear that the road and traffic conditions allow, without labouring the engine.

9. Tech-savvy: Many vehicles have economy settings to optimise performance, throttle response, ride height etc., for maximum fuel efficiency. Use them to your advantage.

10. Plan ahead: Use your GPS to check for traffic and avoid problem areas. Do several tasks on one round trip, as opposed to many shorter ones. This eliminates unnecessary mileage and saves time.

11. Wait out the rush: Battling through traffic not only increases fuel consumption, but also causes wear and tear, especially on your vehicle's transmission and brakes.

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