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#Budget2017: Fuel levy hikes - here's how to stretch your budget

2017-02-22 14:35

IMPORTANT TIPS: With the price of fuel set to increase again, we list a number of ways motorists can make fewer stops to the pumps. Image: iStock

Cape Town - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced fuel levy hikes in his Budget Speech on Wednesday (Feb 22).

Other points of interest for motorists include billions to be spent on upgrading roads and infrastructure. 

Points motorists can take from Gordhan's speech:

  • An increase of 30c/litre in the general fuel levy and 9c/litre in the road accident fund levy.

  • The Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant is allocated R10.8-billion in 2017/18, taking into account the increase in road traffic volumes.

  • Sanral receives R15.4-billion over the period ahead for strengthening and maintenance of the national road network, which now stands at 21 946km.

    • The development and operation of integrated public transport networks, funded through the Public Transport Network Grant receives R6.2bn in 2017/18.  

#Budget2017: Naamsa responds to Gordhan's speech

With fuel prices on the rise due to new fuel levy hikes, how do you save fuel, or stretch your fuel budget? Let us know via emailFacebook and Twitter. 

Costs affecting the SA fuel price include:

  • Transport costs (from the harbour to other areas)
  • Customs and excise duties
  • Retail margins paid to fuel station owners
  • Secondary storage costs 
  • Fuel Levy
  • Road Accident Fund (RAF)

Image: iStock

Here’s a handy checklist to help you achieve optimal fuel efficiency:

1 Plan your route

Planning is key to keeping your fuel spend to a minimum. Before heading off each morning, make sure to consider all the stops you’ll need to make during the day, combining trips and identifying shortcuts where possible. By doing so you’ll be able to shave kilometres off your commute and reduce the number of times you need to start your engine.

READ: More on #Budget2017

2 Shake some weight off

Yes, every ounce counts. Anything that adds weight to your vehicle will have an impact on the amount of energy and fuel used to get it going. Make sure to remove any unnecessary accessories such as large rims and fancy spoilers to lighten the load. And don’t forget to take the suitcase from last week’s business trip out of the boot if you want to save a few bucks. 

3 Watch those wheels

Far too often we forget to check our tyre pressure and wheel alignment, but these can in fact impact fuel consumption enormously. When your tyre pressure is low, it increases resistance which in turn forces your car to use more fuel, while improper wheel alignment and balance can also put more strain on your engine. Make sure to give your tyres and wheels a once-over to reduce strain on your car and your finances.

READ: 'A rollercoaster year for motorists' - an SA fuel price retrospective

4 Ease up on the pedal pushing

Once again, you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and now you’re in a mad rush. Accelerating harder may get you to your destination faster, but it also guzzles fuel by the gallon. Maintaining a consistent speed improves fuel economy, so adjust your alarm and leave home a little earlier so as to allow for a steadier pace and fewer harsh accelerations and sharp breaks. This will also help you to avoid speeding fines, which also makes good economic sense. 

5 Don’t skimp on service

Don’t skimp on the maintenance of your car. Opting for a cheaper service may save you a couple of bucks in the short-term, but is likely to have a larger impact on your pocket in the long run. Lower quality parts affect the overall performance and reliability of your car and if they aren’t working optimally it becomes harder for your vehicle to keep moving - tapping into your fuel consumption.

READ: How SA's fuel price is calculated

6 Dial down the frills

Many of us don’t think twice before cranking up the aircon on a hot summer’s day. But the additional pressure this places on the engine can impact your fuel consumption quite considerably. Try to be frugal with your on-the-go refrigeration. The same goes for sun roofs and open windows - the resistance created by air gushing through the car is a sure-fire recipe for a repeat visit to the petrol station. 

On a side note, parking your car in a warm spot during winter will reduce the time your car’s engine needs to warm up.


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