Best ways to save on fuel consumption

Here are principles to follow to squeeze as much mileage out of every litre of fuel as possible.

Keep these kinds of guidelines for driving in South Africa in mind the next time you want to keep a close watch on that ever descending fuel meter.

If you already have a good idea of what you need, visit car rental have a look at the vehicles we have to on offer to make an educated choice to what you need and for how long.

Whoa! Slow the pace

The faster you drive the more fuel you use – it’s as simple as that. Sticking to the speed limit is not only the most important rule when it comes to road safety but will also save you a wad of cash in your back pocket.

Refrain from revving

Revving off into the distance might look super cool on Top Gear, but it isn’t the answer to economic fuel consumption or your safety. If your car is an automatic, use moderate acceleration so that the transmission shifts into higher gears. Gear shift drivers should shift down before accelerating. If you accelerate and need to put on the breaks straight away, you are wasting precious fuel.

Hang back with the big guys

In serious bumper to bumper traffic jams, the pace seems to slow down and then pick up again while more heavy-duty vehicles, especially trucks, seem to hang back and take their time driving along at an easy pace. There is a reason why they do this. A steady pace and hanging back keeps gear shifting to a bare minimum making travelling from point A to point B a far more economical journey. It takes less fuel to keep a car moving than it does to get it going at an increasing rate.

Hanging back with trucks and buses is a great way to save fuel and frustration.

Photo by: matthias_r

Consider an upgrade

While new wheels and tyres can improve handling, they create more rolling resistance and increase the amount of fuel used (if they are wider than the stock tyres). If you’re looking to upgrade your wheels, tyres and rims then do yourself a great favour and keep the old ones if they are in reasonably good condition. The stock tyres are best for longer road trips giving you a smoother ride and remains one of the best ways to save petrol.

Make smaller (but wiser) choices

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle then it’s a good time to look at how many cars you actually need. A basic rule of thumb to keep in mind and consider when making a purchase is: the smaller the car, the less fuel. Perhaps it’s a good time to consider buying a hybrid which saves even more fuel, making it a fuel-efficient option. There are more and more emerging choices with regards to Hybrid vehicles, so if you don’t like the one, you might very well like another with options ranging between the Honda CR-Z and a range of Prius models. Driving smaller cars remains one of the best ways to save fuel.

Pure pressure

Keeping an eye on your vehicle’s tyre pressure is a good idea if you’re looking to gain as much mileage from your tank as you possibly can. Tyres lose air at approximately one psi every month and one pound-per-square-inch (psi) for every 10 degrees drop in temperature. Tyres with less pressure than they require to create more rolling resistance, meaning you will need to use more fuel to keep the car moving. Purchase a reliable tyre gauge no less than once a month. Driving warms up the tyres and the air inside them, therefore, it is best to check the tyre pressure when they are cool or you will get a false reading. Your car’s owner manual with giving you the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle.

Check your filter

Filter checks and changes are one of the best ways to save petrol. Dirty air filters restrict air flow to the engine which doesn’t make for a great performance or fuel efficiency. Filters are simple to check and change; just remove the filter and hold it up to the sun. If light shines through, you need to replace it. Rather use filters that are cleaned – they are far more cost effective than throwing away paper filters and have less impact on the environment.

Use the air-con sparingly

Your air-conditioner can use up to 10% more fuel when operating, so roll down your window and let the wind blow through your hair. That said if you drive faster than 80 km/h the air-con may be more efficient considering the wind resistance from open windows.

As drivers in South Africa, we can’t do anything about the cost of fuel, but luckily we can control the amount of fuel we spare!

These are all very essential tips for saving fuel, the last thing is to consider a smaller engine. With car hire South Africa you can pick your wheels.

Related Posts

10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town Under R200

Looking for fun things to do in Cape Town under R200? You’re actually spoiled for choice. Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and travellers come from all around to experience the mountain, coastline, and culture. Here at Drive South Africa, we’ve put together a list of 10 fun things to do […]

Read More

7 Ways To Save Money on Your Self-Drive Trip in South Africa

Self-drive holidays in South Africa give you the freedom and flexibility to travel how and when you want. They’re also a great option if you need to be frugal. Then there’s the adventure that comes with a good old road trip and the memories waiting to be made. If you’re planning on hitting the open […]

Read More

Five Outdoor Braai Spots in and Around Johannesburg

Looking for a place to throw a chop on the braai in and around Johannesburg? We’ve selected 5 outdoor braai spots worth trying out below. Florida Lake Where: Roodepoort Entrance fee: Free Just over a 30-minute drive from the Johannesburg city centre is where you’ll find Florida Lake in Roodepoort. If you’re travelling from other […]

Read More