With the recent petrol price hike – a painful 74c per litre across both 93 and 95 octanes, and 93c per litre for diesel – we can all try to be a little more frugal with how we use our vehicles.

This will help to mitigate the knock-on effect on disposable income. Here are a few big and small changes you might want to contemplate.

The big changes

Trade in for a smaller model

A big car guzzles fuel, so if you have one of those, you should consider downsizing.

Share your fuel

If you have a few colleagues who live in the same area, try to initiate a lift club.

Give up on driving

When and where possible, research the public transport options you have and try them out to cut back on your fuel usage.

READ MORE: This is how SA motorists are surviving the petrol price pinch

The small changes

Adhere to the speed limit

This will not only cut the cost of unnecessary traffic fines, but also save on fuel. “A lighter touch on your accelerator also means you only supply what your engine needs at any given time,” says Hugo Grobler, National Franchise Manager at Auto Care Diagnostics.

Be wise about your route

A shorter route doesn’t always equate to lower fuel consumption, says Grobler. “Fewer starts and stops, less congestion and more constant speeds do. Investigate mobile apps that help monitor traffic flow to keep your trip fuel-friendly and time-wise.”

Go easy on the brakes

Slamming on brakes and sudden stops are hard on your vehicle, says Grobler, which has to use more energy (and fuel) to bring it to a halt. Try and avoid riding your brakes, as this creates unnecessary drag.

READ MORE: How far R100 in petrol will get you in these cars

Gear up

The lower the gear, the harder an engine has to work to maintain its speed and the more fuel it’ll use. “If you’re driving a manual vehicle, use the highest gear possible and go easy on the revs,” Grobler advises.

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