The average South African can spend anything from R1 000 to R 1 800 per month on petrol and with the ever-increasing fuel price, this can make a serious dent in your pocket.

If only that money could be spent on a new iPod, a sexy pair of boots or a day at the spa! Unfortunately, until such time as electric powered cars are affordable for the masses, people will be forced to spend on petrol.

AFS Group, one of South Africa’s leading fuel management specialists, suggests a few tricks of the trade to help cut down on fuel expenditure:    

• Drive with the windows closed to prevent air drag which can draw on fuel

• The best time to fill up is early in the morning. Fuel is stored under the ground so the cooler the ground, the denser the fuel. As the ground gets warmer, the fuel expands. The denser the fuel, the more you are actually getting for your money

• Avoid driving at high speeds in a low gear as it uses 45% more petrol than is actually needed

• Most people find that the top half of their tank lasts longer. This could be because more fuel in the tank means that it will contain less air so it won’t evaporate as easily. Therefore, you should fill up when your tank gets to half full.

• Carpooling with people who work and live nearby is an easy way to cut down costs and fuel usage

• Dirt and gravel roads can use up to 30% more of one’s petrol and should be avoided whenever possible

• Ensure that your tyres are properly inflated because as they loose air, the car requires more fuel to move 

• Use the air conditioner sparingly as this can increase fuel usage by 20%

• Try not to push the brake or accelerator too hard because it can waste petrol

• Simply slow down, driving at 100 km/h instead of 120 km/h will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%

• Check your filler cap to make sure it is not damaged, loose or missing altogether.

• Replace dirty air filters and spark plugs.

By making some minor adjustments to your driving style, you will reduce your fuel consumption, leaving a bit extra in the bank to spend on those little indulgences.

What have you done to save fuel? Tell us in the box below?