Death and taxes were the two things you could be certain of. Now there is a third. The rise in the price of fuel in 2019. From R13,42 in January to R16,12 in June (95 ULP coastal), the price of this precious juice has ticked ever upwards month after month.
No worries, you got a raise! No?
You don’t have to drive as much as before! No?
The only thing to do is use as little fuel as possible. But how?
Unless you are wearing a helmet and your car has a roll cage, you are most likely commuting, not racing. If you can really hear your revs or feel the force of sharp braking, you are wasting fuel. Smooth driving saves money.
Smooth driving means keeping your speed as constant as possible, with gentle acceleration and gradual braking. Boring? Yes. Cheaper? Yes.
Pick a lane and stay in it as far as possible. Lane hopping burns lots of fuel and rarely saves you any time.
Plan your trip #1. A South African commuter usually cannot avoid some rush hour, but sometimes taking a specific route 30 minutes earlier will ease your fuel consumption and your blood pressure.
Plan your trip #2. Plan your ad hoc trips carefully so you get the empty roads. Don’t do your Waterfront trip on a rainy Friday afternoon.
Plan your trip #3. Use navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze to plan your trip and guide you around unfortunate traffic events. A tip though: don’t run Google and Waze on your phone at the same time. The voices don’t always agree.
Carry no extra weight. Make sure your boot and the footwells behind your seats are empty. Every extra kilo you cart with you will use a little bit of extra fuel every time you accelerate.
Make sure your tires are all at the correct pressure. Low pressure creates more friction, but overpressure is unsafe and will cause your tires to wear down quicker.
Service your car regularly, as dirty filters and the like will lower your engine efficiency.
Use your aircon sparingly, especially at low speeds.
Buy a Datsun Go. Not only is it the most affordable car in South Africa, but it is also super stingy with petrol at 5.2l/100km.
You cannot control the cost of fuel, but you certainly can minimise your use of it.
For more tips and tricks, as well as stories about Datsun, keep up with our blog.