With a sharp increase in the petrol price as well as a bump in VAT of 1%, 2018 has been a financially challenging year for most people. We take a look at what’s driving the petrol price increases and how motorists can save on fuel costs.
The rising cost of petrol
In October, the petrol price hit a record high of R17.08 per litre inland, which is over R3 more than it was last year.
This increase was exacerbated by a rise in the fuel levy, up from R2.85 in 2016 to R3.37 in 2018. In the last ten years, the fuel levy has increased by a whopping 165.35%.
Petrol price increases in the last ten years. Source: Business Insider
The main factors blamed for the increase are the weakening of the rand against the US dollar and rising Brent crude oil prices due to geopolitical instability. Energy minister Jeff Radebe says that new US sanctions against Iran, the world’s third largest oil producer, are likely to cause further increases in the price of crude oil.
Ways to cut your petrol costs
If you need to drive to work, you might think there’s not much you can do to offset your petrol bill. However, there are a few ways you can reduce your overall fuel consumption and save money.
Keep your car in good running order
A regularly serviced vehicle will automatically use less petrol because it runs more efficiently. Don’t be tempted to skip services and make sure you have minor problems fixed before they become big ones.
Don’t speed or accelerate aggressively
Both putting your foot down at the light and speeding guzzle fuel unnecessarily. Taking it slow is not only safer for both you and other road users but it will save you a lot of money on petrol.
Avoid sitting in traffic when possible
Traffic is the bane of a commuter’s life, but you might be able to avoid it, at least a little bit, if you plan ahead. Look for alternative routes and try to travel outside peak times. If you’re a full-time employee, consider speaking to your company about flexi-time so you can travel outside rush hour.
Don’t drive with your windows open
Having your windows open causes drag on your otherwise reasonably aerodynamic car. This increases fuel consumption by a surprising amount. It’s generally more fuel efficient to drive with the windows up and the air conditioning on.
Keep your tyres optimally inflated
Underinflated tyres cause resistance, which makes your vehicle use more fuel. Make sure your tyres are inflated to their optimum pressure for your make of car. You should find this information in your owner’s manual or inside one of the doors or the fuel filler cap.
Don’t take unnecessary trips
Identify ways to drive less. For example, go to the shops on a weekly basis instead of every few days and combine multiple tasks per trip. You can also switch a trip to the gym for working out at home instead.
Short-term loans with lamna
If South Africa’s rising petrol prices have added to other financial pressures and you find yourself in need of funds, a short-term, asset-based loan might be the solution.
At lamna, we offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from vehicles to luxury watches, jewellery or artwork. Our interest rates comply with the National Credit Act, we’re registered with the National Credit Regulator and we have physical branches in most major South African cities.
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