Change seems to be the only constant in fuel prices. October last year we saw the single biggest increase on the price of fuel and while the price has dropped incrementally in recent months, this reprieve has been short-lived.

During his National Budget speech presented in parliament on 20 February, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced several tax changes that accumulatively will impact the cost of fuel and – without any further fluctuations based on global oil prices – will increase the cost of petrol by 29 cents per litre and diesel by 30 cents per litre in the coming months.

Balance fuel price increases with better driving habits

Fuel levies announced in the budget:

  • General fuel levy will be increased by 15 cents a litre for petrol and diesel from 3 April 2019
  • The Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy will be increased by 5 cents a litre for petrol and diesel on the same date
  • The introduction of South Africa’s Carbon Tax will see the price of petrol increase by 9 cents per litre and diesel by 10 cents per litre – which will come into effect from 5 June 2019

With these increases, you can expect to feel a pinch in your budget, as the rising fuel price has a direct knock-on impact on the cost of goods and services, and thereby a trickledown effect on the cost of living.

While you can’t control the price of fuel or the impact this has on increasing the cost of living, there is a simple (yet ingenious) way to save some money. Consider adopting smarter, safer and more efficient driving behaviours to curb fuel expenditure.

Your tracking device can capture information about your vehicle’s movements and how it is being driven. But did you know that it can also provide you with alerts linked to your driving habits – from harsh braking, harsh acceleration, harsh cornering and speeding, among others? In fact, you could make use of the insights from your tracking device to calculate the exact fuel expense per trip and based on this, make an informed decision on whether you need to make any changes to the routes you drive or adjust your driving style. Ultimately, the smarter you drive, the more money you could potentially save.

If you want to start saving, here are some of our top tips to driving smartly that you can adopt today:

  • Make fewer trips, where possible
  • Avoid rush hour traffic or harsh stop-start driving, where possible, and rather leave earlier
  • Drive smart and stick to the speed limits
  • Drive smoothly and avoid unnecessary acceleration or pushing the accelerator too far down
  • When safe to do so, rather open windows and avoid using the air-conditioning in the warmer seasons
  • Avoid excessive idling
  • Do not carry unnecessary heavy weight around, such as a roof rack, unless it’s being used
  • Check tyre pressure frequently