It’s no secret that fuel has become a rather pricey essential for most South Africans. Rising international petroleum prices have resulted in our citizens facing considerably higher fuel prices.

Fuel consumption is generally measured by the amount of fuel used per unit distance. The only effective way of trying to get around spending a small fortune every month on your fuel tank is to find ways to make your tank go further.

Repairing your car or taking it for regular services could go a long way in trying to improve your fuel consumption. Simple things such as keeping your tyres inflated to the correct pressure can improve your fuel efficiency and not only that, but properly inflated tyres can also ensure a longer life span for your wheels. Dirty oil can also decrease your efficiency so always make sure that your oil is checked regularly and that the correct grade of oil is used on your vehicle.

With most modern cars these days, motorists can make use of the cruise control function of their vehicles. Using cruise control on long distance drives or uninterrupted trips on the freeway helps maintain a consistent speed and, in most cases, saves fuel.

One of the biggest challenges especially in a big city like Johannesburg is the immense amount of traffic we commute through on a daily basis. Usually, the larger the engine the more fuel is wasted when idling for continued periods. Always try and avoid heavy traffic where possible and choose less congested routes that do not have too many stop-and-go’s.

Driving sensibly and observing the speed limit also goes a long way when trying to save on your fuel usage. Each vehicle reaches it optimal fuel economy level at different speeds. It’s a proven fact that driving fast, needless braking and hasty acceleration wastes unnecessary energy and fuel. Smooth driving with very little acceleration at moderate speeds will ultimately lower fuel consumption, so it is always advisable to stick to set speed limits.

One factor that most may overlook would be removing excess weight from your car. Why you ask? A heavy load in your car can increase your fuel expenditure. This increase is based on the percentage of the extra weight relative to the vehicles’ weight. Even though this generally affects smaller vehicles as opposed to bigger cars, it is still advisable to avoid keeping unnecessary heavy items in your car.

Looking on the bright side, we can look forward to a petrol decrease of almost R1 from the 3rd of July. It is said that the price of 93 ULP will go down by 96 cents a litre, 95 ULP will cost 95 cents less per litre and diesel will decrease by 79 cents per litre. This has been much anticipated pleasant news for most South Africans.

By Noni Nchwe