A petrol attendant grabs a fuel pump in South Africa.

Reintroducing our DSA Fuel Cost Calculator

In South Africa, using a fuel cost calculator is an everyday exercise for many people. Our petrol and diesel prices fluctuate on a monthly basis, making it tough to track our fuel expenditure for budgeting and tax purposes.

At Drive South Africa, we want to make the process as easy as possible. That’s why we built this nifty DSA Fuel Cost Calculator. You can use it to calculate your fuel budget according to distance, litres, or number of refills. 

So, whether you’re driving your own car or hiring a car, 4×4, or RV from Drive South Africa, you’ll be able to stay on top of your fuel spend. Read on to learn all about fuel prices in South Africa and our useful tool.

Fuel Prices in South Africa

Using a petrol pump after using a fuel cost calculator.

Use our Fuel Cost Calculator next time you fill up

You might be wondering why a fuel cost calculator is so useful in South Africa. Well, there are numerous factors that affect the price of petrol and diesel at the pump and this results in monthly fluctuations.

According to the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), “the pump price is built off the Basic Fuel Price (BFP), which mimics the costs of the importation of a substantial amount of petroleum products into South Africa”.

The BFP ensures that our local fuel prices are in line with international levels – in isolation from our local duties, levies, and margins. That means several factors make up the final fuel price:

  • International prices via the BFP
  • Shipping costs and import duties
  • The prevailing ZAR / US$ exchange rate
  • External dollar factors
  • Internal Rand factors: 
    • Duties and levies administered by the National Treasury
    • The cost of transport to various parts of the country
    • Allowable margins on fuel storage, distribution, and retail

When are Fuel Prices Updated?

The South African government uses a Monthly Pricing System to set fuel prices on the first Wednesday of each month. Usually, these price changes only reflect external factors, but once per year, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy takes internal adjustments into account.

What are the Local Duties, Levies, and Margins?

External factors make up 54% of the fuel price. Internal pricing factors include:

  • Duties and Levies (27%):
    • Customs and excise duties
    • Demand Side Management Levy
    • Fuel Levy
    • Road Accident Fund
  • Margins (14%):
    • Wholesale
    • Storage
    • Distribution
    • Retail
  • Other (3%):
    • Magisterial Zone Differentials (cost of transport to various districts from supply points)

Because the government determines these values, individual fuel distribution companies like BP, Shell, and Astron Energy can’t set their own fuel prices.

Tracking Fuel Price Changes with the DSA Fuel Cost Calculator

A graph from the DSA Fuel Cost Calculator.

We know that over the past two decades, the fuel price has skyrocketed in South Africa. Our Fuel Cost Calculator uses a graph to show just how steep the curve has been. 

We first started tracking fuel prices in January 2012. Back then, a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol (ULP 95) would cost you just R10,31 in coastal areas. Today, as of 8 April 2024, you’ll pay R24,33. That’s a whopping increase – and that’s why fuel cost calculators are so useful for South Africans.

Just so you know: the ULP 95 price peaked at R26,09 per litre in July 2022, so things have certainly been worse in the recent past.

How to Use the DSA Fuel Cost Calculator

The DSA Fuel Cost Calculator.

With the DSA Fuel Cost Calculator, you can work out your projected monthly fuel spend in a few simple steps.

  • First, choose whether you’d like to calculate using kilometres, litres, or number of refills
  • Choose your location: Coastal or Inland
  • Choose your fuel type: Petrol 93, Petrol 95, Diesel 50 ppm, or Diesel 500 ppm
  • Finally, type in your average fuel consumption or your kilometres, litres, or fuel tank volume and number of refills – depending on your initial selection – and click “Calculate”

The DSA Fuel Cost Calculator will crunch the numbers and give you your total fuel cost and the current price per litre, as well as a useful graph tracking price changes over the years. It’s that simple!

We update the DSA Fuel Cost Calculator with the latest fuel prices every month. That means you can trust it to provide accurate information time after time, whether you’re working out your monthly fuel spend or planning your next road trip.

Car Rental with Drive South Africa

Rental cars lined up in a parking lot.

We offer a wide selection of rental vehicles throughout southern Africa

Once you’ve figured out how much you’re going to spend on fuel, you need the right vehicle. At Drive South Africa, we specialise in car rental, 4×4 rental, RV rental, and luxury car rental in South Africa and beyond.

We pride ourselves on dedicated customer service, expert knowledge, and a website that makes it incredibly easy to compare vehicles and prices. Ready to book? Speak to one of our agents today.

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