How to stay ahead of fuel price hikes

With fuel prices in South Africa at an all-time high, most car owners and drivers are open to suggestions on how to get a little more out of their tank.

While motorists may be relieved of these record fuel prices, it’s still worth driving on as little fuel as possible.

Here are five tips to keep your tank going and staying ahead of fuel price increases, from, backed by Motus Ford (formerly Imperial Ford):

1. Plan your trip

One of the best ways to save fuel is to drive less. This can be done with good planning, for example instead of going to the mall every day, instead allocate a little more time and go once a week and do all your shopping to reduce the total travel time.

POINT: If you have to travel a good distance for appointments, try to group them with other stops that you must make in the same area.

Avoid rush hour whenever possible, traveling during rush hour means a longer journey in terms of time and your car will therefore consume more fuel. Leaving on time also means you are less rushed and driving in a relaxed manner is a sure way to save fuel.

2. Change your driving style

The way you drive your vehicle is the biggest contributor to fuel consumption. Avoid accelerating between intersections and accelerating your vehicle too much. A smooth, gradual acceleration technique is the most economical way to drive, as is maintaining a steady speed on the highway and obeying the speed limit.

3. Limit your use of air conditioning

Your car’s air conditioner can contribute up to 5% to your fuel bill, especially when stationary.

POINT: A good idea is to turn it off when you’re standing still and turn it back on once you’re up to date.

4. Check your tire pressure regularly

Under-inflated tires are a huge contributor to unnecessary fuel consumption. Tires should be checked regularly and inflated to manufacturer specifications for the amount of load you are carrying.

POINT: The correct pressures can normally be found in your vehicle’s door frame or fuel filler door or in the owner’s manual.

POINT: Read “Rotate your tires to extend their life and improve their performance!” “.

POINT: Watch “How to change a flat tire”.

5. Lose that extra weight

Additional weight in your vehicle will also increase fuel consumption. Trim unnecessary weight by removing all non-essentials.

POINT: The same goes for unnecessary accessories like roof bars and bike racks which not only add weight but also disrupt the aerodynamic properties of your vehicle.

Although these tips will save you a few rands, having the right vehicle for the job is the easiest way to save money. If you’re shopping for a car, investing in a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle is the easiest way to save money.

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