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Expert Tips for Maximising Fuel Efficiency and Easing the Impact of Rising Fuel Costs this September

As September approaches, the convergence of oil prices and the rand/dollar exchange rate assumes paramount significance in shaping local fuel prices. With both factors aligned against motorists, the impending month threatens to bring about heightened challenges at the fuel pumps.

In light of this, WesBank presents essential insights and practical strategies to empower individuals in their quest to optimise fuel consumption and mitigate the impact of escalating fuel expenses. By following these practical tips, drivers can significantly reduce their fuel consumption and lower their expenses.

  1. Drive Smoothly: Avoid aggressive driving habits such as rapid acceleration, speeding, and hard braking. Smooth driving not only improves fuel efficiency but also extends the life of brakes, and tyres and reduces long-term maintenance.
  2. Safer Way of Driving: Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. By looking closely at what pedestrians and other cars are doing, and anticipating what might happen next, you can keep your speed as steady as possible and use less fuel. It’s also safer to drive this way.
  3. Avoid Stop-Start Driving: Maintain momentum by planning ahead and flowing with traffic to minimise unnecessary braking.
  4. Slow Down: Maintain a constant speed and avoid excessive speeding. Driving at slightly lower speeds can improve fuel efficiency.
  5. Reduce the Load: Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Less weight means less energy required for acceleration.
  6. Optimise Air Conditioning: Use air conditioning sparingly at low speeds and consider rolling down windows instead, providing it is safe to do so. At higher speeds (80 km/h or higher), using air conditioning is more fuel-efficient than open windows due to reduced wind resistance.
  7. Plan Trips Ahead: Utilise navigation apps to find the most efficient routes and avoid traffic, reducing fuel consumption. Listen to traffic reports and try to avoid roads with too many traffic lights and intersections, where possible.
  8. Check Wheel Alignment and Maintain Tyre Pressure: Ensure proper wheel alignment to reduce friction and improve fuel efficiency. Check and maintain the correct tyre pressure to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance.
  9. Regular Servicing and Maintenance: Regularly service your vehicle to ensure it operates efficiently and consumes less fuel.
  10. Fuel Reward Programmes: Fuel reward programmes play a vital role in assisting cash-strapped motorists by providing much-needed relief at the pump. In these challenging economic times, where fuel prices can be a significant financial burden, these programmes offer valuable savings and benefits, making it easier for vehicle owners to keep their vehicles running and maintain their mobility without excessive financial strain.

“While fuel price hikes may be beyond our control, we are committed to equipping motorists with the knowledge and tools to navigate these challenges. By embracing these actionable steps, individuals can proactively take charge of their fuel consumption, lessening the impact of fuel price hikes on their wallets and contributing to a more sustainable driving future,” says Lebogang Gaoaketse, WesBank Head of Marketing and Communication.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa