South African motorists have just experienced another fuel price hike. A weak rand and the cost of crude oil has driven up the cost per litre of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin. With that in mind, we’d like to share some fuel-saving tips to help beat the higher prices.

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  • One of the easiest changes to implement is your own driving style.

    Try to drive in a fuel-efficient manner. If you drive everywhere like a Formula One driver on a qualifying lap, you’re never going to save fuel. Concentrate instead on driving smoothly, gently accelerating and decelerating to maintain a steady speed.

  • Try to avoid rush hour traffic.

    You waste lots of fuel simply idling at traffic lights or clogged junctions (if your car doesn’t have a stop/start function), not to mention using just first and second gears excessively.

  • If that isn’t possible, consider carpooling.

    Most cars are designed to seat 4/5 passengers but seldom have more than two occupants on board. More passengers mean fewer cars on the road, which means less traffic that results in a shorter rush hour.

  • Plan ahead and only drive when it is required.

    Don’t make several small trips to run errands. Rather run all errands in a single trip. If the place you need to be is close enough, walk or ride your bicycle, it’s healthier.

  • Give yourself enough time to get to a destination.

    Even if it means arriving a tad early (a concept completely foreign to most Capetonians), it can ensure you aren’t forced into driving fast to get to an appointment.

  • Ensure that your car is serviced according to the manufacturer schedule.

    This will also help you identify fuel-sapping problems ahead of time.

  • Check your tyre pressures regularly.

    Low tyre pressures will result in your engine working harder and burning more fuel to get those tyres turning.

  • Stay aerodynamic, a slippery car uses less fuel.

    The first and easiest way to do this is to keep your windows closed while travelling. Ensure the outside of your car is clean and remove unnecessary additions such as roof racks or bicycle carriers when not in use.

  • Reduce unnecessary mass as it impacts fuel economy.

    Get rid of the junk cluttering up the boot or rear seats. You haven’t stopped at the gym in months, leave the bag at home. And when is the last time you used your golf clubs?

  • Stay well below the speed limit.

    Not only will you remain on the right side of the law, but you will also reap the benefits at the pumps; win-win.