With fuel prices increasing sharply this month to R12.87 for petrol 93 unleaded, R13.08 for 95 and R11.92 for diesel per litre, motorists are going to be spending significantly more on transportation. Added to the burden is the increase in the fuel levy of 23 cents and a coincidental increase in vehicle licence and toll fees, which will come into effect in April, 2013.
It could well be that these increases are the tipping point needed to encourage drivers to change their driving habits and behaviour to one that is more conducive to fuel economy. Learning to drive frugally will also have a positive effect on reducing the number of crashes on our roads, simply because of the driverís increased awareness on the road.
But in order for us to be able to do our bit in saving fuel, local transport authorities have to come to the party too. Synchronised traffic signals and working traffic lights are vital to keeping the traffic moving swiftly and efficiently.
With regards to technology, we need to be able to embrace the latest fuel-efficient engines. But to get that advantage the fuel quality in South Africa needs to be improved to the point where Euro 5 and Euro 6 engines can work efficiently on the fuel provided and the motorist can benefit.
Unfortunately, higher fuel costs are going to have a negative impact on production costs which will translate to all consumer goods and services where fuel is a factor.
It is quite possible that the price of petrol could be close to R14 before the end of the year! Now is the time to start changing the way you drive to save where you can. This will ensure that you become a safer driver too.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180