Five ways to make your fuel last longer

SA fuel prices are at record highs at the moment.
SA fuel prices are at record highs at the moment.
Image: Vasuta Thitayarak / 123rf

With the fuel price in SA hovering at an all-time high, most drivers are open to any suggestions on how to get a little bit more from their tank. While it seems motorists might get some relief from these record high prices this month, it is always worthwhile driving as fuel-efficiently as possible.

Here are five tips to make your tank go quite a bit further.

1. Plan your travelling

One of the best ways to save fuel is to drive less. This can be done by proper planning. For example, instead of going to the mall every day, rather allocate a bit more time and go once a week and do all your shopping. If you need to travel a fair distance for appointments, try group them with other stops that you need to make in the same area.

Where possible avoid rush hour. Travelling during peak hour means a longer journey in terms of time and your car will thus use more fuel. Leaving timeously will also mean you are less rushed and driving in a relaxed manner is a sure way of saving fuel.

2. Change your driving style

The way you drive your vehicle is the biggest contributor to how much fuel it uses. Avoid speeding up between intersections and excessively revving your vehicle. A smooth, gradual, acceleration technique is the most economical way to drive, as is maintaining a constant speed on the highway and sticking to the speed limit.

3. Limit your use of the air conditioning

Your car's air conditioner can contribute as much as 5% to your fuel bill, especially when stationary. A good idea is to turn it off when you are standing still and switch it back on once you are up to speed.

4. Check your tyre pressures regularly

Under-inflated tyres are a huge contributor to unnecessary fuel consumption. Tyres should be checked regularly and inflated according to the manufacturers specifications for the amount of load you are carrying. The correct pressures are normally found in the doorframe or fuel flap of your vehicle, or in the owners manual.

5. Lose that extra weight

Extra weight in your vehicle will also push up the fuel consumption. Remove any unnecessary weight by removing any non-essential items. The same goes for unnecessary accessories like roof racks and bicycle carriers that not only add weight but also disrupt the aerodynamic properties of your vehicle.

While these tips will go a long way in saving you a few rand, 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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