Tips for motorists ahead of fuel price hike

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Rushing to fill your tank ahead of the midnight fuel price increase? The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) has some sage advice for you.

The association on Tuesday said as demand for energy rises, its cost as a precious resource also rises.

“This is exactly what motorists have experienced in South Africa as a result of the rising price of crude oil, compounded by exchange rate depreciation resulting in record prices of fuel at the pump,” it said.

Petrol prices reach record highs this week, as the Department of Energy on Monday announced that the price of petrol will rise by between 99 cents and R 1 a litre.

As of midnight, a litre of petrol 93 (ULP and LRP) will rise by 99 cents, while that of 95 (ULP and LRP) will increase by R1.

This means that a litre of 95 will cost motorists R17.08 from R16.08, in Gauteng while both grades of diesel namely Diesel 0.05% and 0.005% Sulphur will increase by a whopping R1.24 a litre.

In September, the fuel price remained unchanged following Minister Jeff Radebe’s announcement of a 4.9 cents a litre increase in the retail margin of petrol.

At the time it was announced that the 4.9 cents a litre increase will be ring-fenced for the wages of the forecourt staff. The 4.9 cents a litre increase is in line with the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO) agreement of 18 November 2016.

With the hike in petrol costs, South Africans who have a “high level of dependence on motor vehicles as a means of mobility and transport, commuters and motorists, have experienced an “almost immediate monthly impact on their disposable incomes as a result of rising fuel prices”.

NAAMSA highlighted several options for motorists to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and limit the negative financial effects of the fuel price hikes as well as reduce green-house emissions.

It said that the fuel economy of cars has improved significantly over the years with many new models currently available in South Africa offering substantial fuel consumption benefits.

The latest generation diesel vehicles, while offering all the refinements and performance of their petrol engine counterparts, also offer significant fuel economy benefits. 

“Factors such as driving style, vehicle loading, tyre pressures and road conditions continue to affect real fuel consumption,” said the association.

The association had these tips for motorists to improve their vehicle fuel efficiency:

  • Measure the fuel consumption of your vehicle and consider replacing your vehicle with a more modern, high technology, fuel efficient product. 
  • Avoid unnecessary journeys/ Plan your journey.
  • Service your car according to the manufacturers recommended schedule.
  • Poor maintenance can significantly increase fuel consumption.
  • Check tyre pressure regularly.
  • Low tyre pressures increase vehicle "drag" and hence fuel consumption.
  • Drive smoothly.
  • In the case of manual transmission vehicles change up as soon as engine speed and conditions allow.
  • Moderate your speed.
  • Fuel consumption increases significantly when driving at speeds over 100 km/hr.
  • Reduce weight in the car by removing heavy items if you are not using them, e.g. roof-rack, etc.
  • Use only quality, clean fuels.
  • Use of contaminated fuels can result in fuel injection equipment deterioration and increased fuel consumption.
  • Avoid travelling during peak hours.
  • Optimum fuel economy is achieved during steady constant speed driving. Stop-start driving significantly increases fuel consumption.
  • Use air conditioning sparingly.

The association represents the collective, non-competitive interests of the new motor vehicle manufacturing industry in South Africa and comprises 22 companies involved in the production of cars and commercial vehicles which businesses collectively employ about 30 000 persons.  –