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Petrol gamble: 10 000+ SA drivers run on fumes

2015-09-01 09:25

TAKING A CHANCE? More than 10 000 South Africans say they only refuel when the fuel warning light goes on. Image: Shutterstock

Cape Town - Wheels24 reported that nearly 900 000 are stranded without fuel in the UK. We asked South Africans in a News24 poll what their refuelling habits are and more than 15 993 responded.

The SA department of Energy announced a decrease in the price of all petroleum products from Wednesday (September 2 2015). You might be tempted to drive with a reserve tank to save money. Be careful as you could be left stranded on our roads.

UK insurance firm, LV Equals, reveals that nearly 900 000 road users are left stranded on the road each year. The Daily Mail reports that 872 000 Britons ignore the fuel warning light in their vehicles. Data from the insurance firm showed that drivers were overconfident that they could reach their destinations despite the reserve light activating.


We asked readers: "When do you fill up your vehicle's fuel tank?" and a News24 poll garnered 15 993 responses.

When it gets below half a tank - 4220 votes
Once the reserve light switches on - 10173 votes
When the fuel price goes up or down - 1269 votes
I sometimes end up stranded without fuel - 331 votes

The majority of readers (10173) said they filled up once the reserve light switched on while 4220 said half a tank. The fuel price plays a major role in driving habits with 1269 respondents stating fluctuating prices affect their refuelling behaviour.

Alarmingly, 326 said they are sometimes stranded without fuel on the road.

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Jeremy Thorp: I suspect it may be to do with the fact that new cars these days offer so many toys that drivers just don't focus on the actual essentials of driving. I do, and I know exactly how far my car will go on a tank of fuel, whether it's on the highway or around town - so no, I've never run out of fuel.

Jimmy Baloyi: If you know your car you'll never get stuck on the side of the road because of fuel. I have studied all the cars I have ever owned and I know how far a quarter tank would go until I reach the next gas station for instance. And, of course, your driving habits play a crucial role.

Tony De Wijn: Ignoring the 'low fuel' warning light is insane. Mind you, running out of gas on a freeway in The UK is not so bad. In SA you would be lucky if you lasted 20 minutes before being raped, robbed and killed.

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Louis Olivier: It is an offense to run out of fuel on a public road, and you may be liable for a fine.

Francois Jordaan: I ran out of fuel today haha. Luckily my car was at home still.

Alta Steyn: Desperate times. Maybe not everybody but some do hope to go just a little bit farther...


Read more on:    cape town  |  your wheels24  |  fuel  |  readers  |  performance

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