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South Africa was recently downgraded by the rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch to BBB- and baa3 status.  This means the country’s risk has increased and it has become a lot harder for South Africa to attract investors. This will no doubt affect the ability of the currency and will make it harder to create employment in the years ahead. Another disadvantage is that it will cost a lot more to borrow money from banks.

With the weakening rand, one thing is for sure, prices of basic items will be increasing and that may include fuel costs. So to help you save a little money, read our petrol saving tips, and who knows what you could do with all the extra money?

Avoid driving in traffic

Truth be told, being stuck in traffic isn’t nice, but worse than that, it wastes fuel.  Every time you are in traffic, you do a lot of stops and starts and it takes a whole lot of energy for your car to get moving again. If possible, avoid driving in traffic at all. If you have to go to work in the morning, rather drive an hour earlier before traffic starts or after it has slowed.  

Reduce the drag (close windows and sunroof)

While driving with your windows down will keep you cool and it may even look cool, it’s not wise to do so.  By driving with your windows down you not only increase your vehicle’s drag, you are making it work harder as it will not be able to push through the wind more aerodynamically. Close the windows and put on the air-con rather, especially when you’re driving on the freeway.  

Make fewer trips

If you are going to the shops, rather buy everything you need at once. That way you’ll be saving yourself money because you’ll be making fewer trips plus time as you don’t have to spend time standing in endless queues.

Check your tyre pressure

A vehicle that drives around with the incorrect tyre pressure uses as much as 2% more fuel. Check that the pressure of your tyres is at the correct level every fortnight; you can pump them for free at your local petrol station. If you are not sure what the correct tyre pressure is, consult your vehicle manual or sometimes you can find it on the side below the driver’s door.

Accelerate gently

When you’re driving, always try to maintain a regular speed, under the legal speed of 60kph and avoid stepping heavily on the accelerator. This is not only fuel efficient, but it is also a safe way of driving. Speeding and overtaking unnecessarily will only end up in you paying more for fuel and even getting traffic fines.

Reduce the weight

Did you know, carrying around extra weight in your vehicle results in using more fuel? If you are carrying things in your trunk that you don’t really need like golf clubs, a bag of clothes and huge bottles of water, take them out and you’ll see how much your fuel costs will drop.

Regularly service your engine

A clean engine keeps your vehicle running longer and by having your car regularly serviced, you will keep it running at its optimum.  Dirty air filters can reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy, which is why it’s imperative to have them changed regularly.