How to Save on Your Tank

With fuel prices acting like a roller coaster it can be a challenge to budget for this daily expense. We have enjoyed a break from increases in the last few months due to low oil prices but now we have another upwards tick thanks to Budget 2016.

If your tank holds 60 litres it is now costs you an extra R18 to fill up. While this should not break the bank, if you take into account all the other increases in food, interest rates, utilities and the cost of living in general, it all adds up to a squeeze on our budgets.

The good news is that it is very easy to give yourself a fuel price cut by being smart about how you drive and use your car. In fact, if you implement the following tips you should see your bills fall way below the increase.

While it can be fun being a “robot racer” putting your foot to the floor devours petrol. AA tests show that your fuel consumption can be 500% more over the first few hundred meters from a standing start. You should accelerate smoothly and softly without annoying the line behind you. Stop-start driving could cost you an extra tank of fuel each month and it also wears out your brakes quicker.

Don’t use your boot as a portable storage container. Every extra kilogram means the car has to work harder. Keep the boot empty until you need it. The same applies to roof racks, they cause drag, if you use it infrequently, take it off.
Don’t ride your clutch, use your handbrake on hills – you save fuel and the life of your clutch.

Keep your car well-maintained. An out of tune car uses more fuel. Keep your tyres at the right pressure and make sure your oil and air filters are in good shape.

Plan your trips, running out to the shops or taking unnecessary trips really adds to fuel costs. Just one 50 km return trip can cost R50-R100 depending on your consumption. Car- pooling is also an option if you live near a co-worker.

If you are in the market for a new car resist the temptation to get a big engine the difference between a fuel efficient 1400 cc and a 3500cc if a few tanks of petrol each month.

Finally your car is the biggest investment you will make outside of a home, make sure it is adequately insured against theft and damage. If you experience a loss, 30c a litre will be the least of your worries.