The fuel price increase for October has just been revealed and motorists are going to feel the pinch. Both grades of petrol will increase by 99c per litre while diesel will see an increase of R1.24. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, provides motorists with his top three picks for saving fuel to help alleviate the pressure.
1. Anticipate conditions
Adopt a defensive driving style so you can anticipate changing traffic conditions before they happen. “You should be driving 12 seconds ahead of time. Your peripheral vision will allow you to see what is directly in front of you while you focus a little ahead as well.
“For the managers of fleets, the importance of training your fleets in this style of driving is more important than ever before, not only for the safety benefits but for the savings you will see in your petrol expenses. As your drivers cover many more kilometres than the regular driver, the value of defensive driving cannot be overlooked,” says Herbert.
2. Do not speed
Drive at speeds which suit the current conditions and avoid speeding. Reducing speed by 20kph in certain instances can reduce fuel consumption by 20%. Often speed is also accompanied by fast lane changes, sudden acceleration and harsh braking. Not only does this increase fuel consumption but it also costs you more in maintenance. Increasing your speed will only make minimal difference to trip times.
3. Plan ahead
Planning ahead of each journey is one of the best ways to save fuel. It can help you avoid traffic jams, choose the most fuel efficient routes and avoid leaving too little time. “Plan your journey so you do not rush. Keep your engine revs between 2500 and 3000rpm. Techniques like this can also result in a saving of up to 20% in fuel consumption,” says Herbert.
No relief is in sight for motorists and the current fuel prices paint a very intimidating picture for fleets. Continued volatility in world events provides no reassurance either. Efforts to save fuel will become your armour against the rising prices.