Can you still afford your car in South Africa?

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With South Africa’s petrol prices expected to rise next month 1  – can you still afford to drive in 2018?

The fuel and Road Accident Fund levies as well as increased transportation costs, are making the forecast for driving this year pretty poor. After already being hit with an increase in petrol prices at the end of April, it is expected that next month we will again see another rise in petrol prices.

The Energy Department says that we ‘have to pay between 58 cents and 59 cents more for a litre of diesel’ 1 at the moment. Further, the global market suggests that this is not the last that we will hear of these price hikes. With consumers already stretched, this is another financial pressure that we really didn’t need.

The reasons behind the petrol increases

Why the increase? Rising petrol prices are not just a South African problem. Oil prices across the globe are under pressure.

The implications are that this rise may continue beyond June, negatively impacting our wider fuel costs. Facing unpredictable demands on our ever-burdened finances once again, it is no surprise that personal debt is at an all time high, and online financial organizations, like Wonga are rapidly increasing in popularity as the economic forecast becomes even more incalculable across the globe.

Bloomberg predicts that we face at least another month of changing petrol prices, probably more, crude prices are at a three-year high’ due to a range of factors including: ‘plunging Venezuelan crude production; sanctions disrupting Iranian oil exports; Saudi Arabia pushing for even higher prices; North Korea peace talk’. 2.

Wheels 24 predicts that by next month, with the Rand’s value against the dollar continuing to weaken, South African motorists will be ‘paying almost R16/per litre’. 3

8 ways to spend less on petrol

As we brace ourselves for the coming expenses, here are some useful tips to help you through the next few months:

  1. Check that your vehicle is running in optimum condition. Ineffective operation of important parts of your vehicle, could waste valuable fuel.
  2. Help your car to work smarter by reducing resistance and drag. Keep tyres fully inflated, external accessories to a minimum and windows closed so that your car does not have to work harder than necessary.
  3. Drive as smoothly and consistently as you can, resisting the urge to burn rubber which will cost you precious fuel.
  4. Don’t be hasty in removing the fuel pump from your petrol tank when you fill up, all that spilt petrol on the forecourt could be in your petrol tank. A few seconds longer will mean that you get more for your money.
  5. Remember your vehicle is a costly form of transportation, and plan your journey before you get in it, so that you are not making unnecessary trips or choosing routes that will waste lots of fuel.
  6. Save the air-conditioning for when you really need it – it is a well-known source of fuel consumption.
  7. Car-pool! If there are a number of you making the same journey, save on petrol by travelling together
  8. Resist the urge to keep your tank full, this will make your vehicle lighter, thus burning less fuel.

Have you got any good money-saving tips? Have you found a more economical alternative to driving? We would be really interested to hear your experiences.

1 https://www.ewn.co.za/2018/04/27/motorists-warned-to-expect-further-fuel-price-hikes-in -june

2  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-07/oil-faces-a-month-of-mayhem-as-geopolitical-risks-proliferate

3  https://www.wheels24.co.za/Fuel_Focus/think-the-price-of-petrol-is-steep-in-sa-worlds-most-expensive-fuel-prices-20180510

Links:

Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-07/oil-faces-a-month-of-mayhem-as-geopolitical-risks-proliferate

Wheels24

https://www.wheels24.co.za/Fuel_Focus/think-the-price-of-petrol-is-steep-in-sa-worlds-most-expensive-fuel-prices-20180510

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Joseph Hollinger

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