With fuel prices at a record high, motorists are starting to panic. But why are we paying so much for petrol? According to Stats SA, there are up to 13 different charges in the petrol price, depending on the type of fuel and where you live. The price is made up of these four major elements:

  • Basic fuel price: 47,5%
  • Taxes and levies: 32,5%
  • Retail and wholesale margins: 14%
  • Storage and distribution costs: 6%.

The basic fuel price is linked to the costs of buying petroleum products from international markets, as well as the related shipping costs. The international price of crude oil and the Rand/Dollar exchange rate is the biggest influences on this price. The invasion of Ukraine and resulting commodity and supply chain instability have affected this badly. The other three elements making up the petrol price are local, which makes the R25 a litre price tag incomprehensible to most of us. Is it time to work on our fitness and start walking to work? As car enthusiasts, we do not recommend this highly inconvenient course of action. Rather, read through some of our tips to save fuel and adapt as we hope for better days:

1. Trade in your gas guzzler

If your car is heavy on fuel, consider selling it on Surf4Cars and buying a more economical model. Kia Picanto, Toyota Agya and Suzuki Celerio are rated among the least thirsty budget hatchbacks on our roads. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, Toyota Starlet (and of course its twin Suzuki Baleno) and Ford Figo are not heavy on petrol at all. Consider a compact crossover like the Renault Kiger which boasts a fuel economy of 5,3litres per 100km instead of a heavier SUV. Many are now considering adding a second mid-week run around in addition to the weekend family SUV or exploring work ride clubs for fuel sharing opportunities.

Click here to Browse some economical entry-level models:

2. Maintain

Regular maintenance will keep your car’s fuel economy at optimal levels. Get that service done and reap the rewards.

3. Inflate

Keep the tyres inflated to the recommended pressure. The surface area that is in contact with the road increases when your tyre is under-inflated. The increased surface area in contact with the road means an increased drag on the wheel.

4. Avoid Idling

Keeping the car running when you are stopped uses petrol unnecessarily. Many modern cars feature start-stop technology; it isn’t just the high-end models. The Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-3 have this feature as do most mid to high-level cars produced after 2020. The idea behind a stop/start system is to reduce fuel consumption by shutting down an internal-combustion engine when a vehicle is stationary. The latest injection technology (for petrol and diesel) ensures that little fuel is wasted during the action of starting and makes these stop/start systems a viable fuel-saving option.

5. Take it easy

Plan your trips so that you are less likely to travel during rush hour. Free-flowing traffic uses far less fuel, so arriving at work early might be an option. Try to accelerate and brake gently and make use of your cruise control on the open road.

Keeping your windows closed while driving, using the air conditioning less and limiting the weight your car transports will all help too. In times like these, we have to rethink the way we use our cars and perhaps combine trips and be more prudent overall. Not only will these things help save you money, but you will also be doing your bit to reduce your environmental impact too.

Safe driving!

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