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More petrol price hikes for SA: 'Oil down but Rand pummels fuel price' - AA

2018-06-15 11:09

SA motorists will have to brace themselves as fuel prices look set for another jump going into July, says Automobile Association, commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF).
 
AA said: "Since the start of June, the Rand has steadily weakened against the US dollar, with the average cost per dollar having climbed from around the R12.50 mark to nearly R13.

"Fortunately international oil prices retreated over the same period, and have had a very small impact on the figures."

Fuel price hike

The current data forecast a rise of around 32 cents a litre for petrol and 30 cents for diesel.
 
AA said: "Almost all of the increase is due to Rand weakness and the picture would have looked very much worse if international oil prices had not come down over the past two weeks.
 
"With the volatility of oil markets over the last six weeks, an increase in the oil price cannot be ruled out in the short to medium term, and we once again advise all motorists to avoid unnecessary journeys, make us of car pooling, and practice economical driving techniques." 

Wheels24 reported that the price of petrol increased by 82 cents to more than R15 a litre - the highest South Africans have paid for fuel yet at the end of May.

From June 6, motorists have been forking out R15.20 (coast) and R15.79 (inland) for petrol.

During the same period in 2017, motorists breathed a sigh of relief with a 23 cents drop per litre of petrol and 25 cents for diesel, as the price hovered near R13/litre.

The next fuel hike will mean that motorists will be paying about R15.52 at the coast and a whopping R16.09 inland. A new record high for South Africans. 

Fuel-saving techniques

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), says now is the time for vehicle owners to review their vehicle costs and look at cost-saving alternatives that won’t compromise their vehicle or safety. 

"Regular maintenance of a vehicle is the only way to ensure it remains roadworthy but is also a money-saving exercise in the long run because major breakages on a vehicle are very expensive. Regular servicing can prevent that. It’s also the best way to ensure you keep your vehicle longer. A car in good condition will run longer and possibly be more fuel efficient," he says.

In terms of price savings when it comes to maintenance, Ranft says there are excellent, accredited workshops that realise the expenses customers are dealing with and will offer a top-class service at a reasonable price.

He said: "It’s important to speak to the mechanic and share your concerns about price. There may be a way to do staggered maintenance with staggered payments or another solution. Already by using an independent workshop you are saving as services through dealers are more costly.

"The key is finding a workshop that is accredited and affiliated to an association, such as MIWA. In this way you can be assured that the workmanship has a stamp of approval and should you be dissatisfied with the service, you have a channel to go through to lodge a complaint.

"Independent workshops are small businesses wanting to stay afloat in a highly-competitive market. Keeping customers satisfied is essential to their business so more often than not they will go the extra mile to assist you," adds Ranft. 

Ranft offers drivers the following fuel-saving tips:
• Accelerate at an even pace in traffic. Short bursts of the accelerator will increase fuel consumption.
•  Drive in a lane which has the least traffic ahead to maintain a constant speed. The engine management system will adjust the most economical settings for the best fuel consumption.
•  The first startup after a lengthy stand is the one which has the richest fuel mixture, therefore one must prevent harsh acceleration whilst the engine is still cold as this will spike the consumption figure dramatically. Do not idle a cold engine to warm it up, as this will not improve the fuel consumption nor lengthen the life of the engine.
•  If you are in a heavy traffic situation and the waiting times are lengthy, do not be afraid to turn off the engine and restart once the traffic starts moving again. Modern engines are now being equipped with this function to aid fuel saving. However prevent continuous switch-offs as this will drain the battery.


                                                                       Image: Motorpress

Besides driving with fuel efficiency in mind, he also suggests getting creative about how to use your car less. 

Ranft said: "Car-pooling to work, for example, is a great way to save on fuel expenses. Also plan your shopping trips better. Avoid several short trips to shops, that burn up fuel, by planning and shopping once a week. If you can walk rather than drive, do it. And consider using public transport. We have a great bus network and access to trains, such as the Gautrain, that can make getting around easier."  

Here are a few tips from the Automobile Association on how to save fuel:

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