Energy is a precious resource essential to modern society, economic growth and development.

As energy demand grows, the cost of energy tends to rise. This is exactly what motorists have experienced in South Africa as a result of the rising price of crude oil, sometimes compounded by exchange rate depreciation, resulting in record prices of fuel at the pump.

In South Africa, given the high level of dependence on motor vehicles as a means of mobility and transport, commuters and motorists have experienced an almost immediate (monthly) impact on their disposable incomes as a result of rising fuel prices.

At the same time, there is increasing public pressure to reduce green-house gas emissions associated with rising energy usage.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) wishes to highlight a number of options open to the motorist to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and limit the financial effects of the fuel price hikes and, at the same time, to reduce green-house emissions.

The fuel economy of the modern motor car has improved significantly over the past 20 years. Improvements in engine technology has seen the average fuel consumption of passenger cars decrease from over 10 litres per 100 km in 1980 to less than 7 litres per 100 km in the case of many of the latest high technology, highly fuel efficient models.

The latest generation diesel vehicles, while offering all the refinements and performance of their petrol engined counterparts, also offer significant fuel economy benefits.

Factors such as driving style, vehicle loading, tyre pressures, road conditions continue to affect real fuel consumption.

The following fuel saving pointers should be considered by motorists to improve vehicle fuel efficiency -

  • Avoid unnecessary journeys/ Plan your journey
  • Service your car according to the manufacturers recommended schedule
    Poor maintenance can significantly increase fuel consumption.
  • Check tyre pressure regularly
    Low tyre pressures increase vehicle "drag" and hence fuel consumption.
  • Drive smoothly.
    In the case of manual transmission vehicles change up as soon as engine speed and conditions allow.
  • Moderate your speed
    Fuel consumption increases significantly when driving at speeds over 100 km/hr
  • Reduce weight in the car by removing heavy items if you are not using them, e.g. roof-rack, etc.
  • Use only quality, clean fuels
    Use of contaminated fuels can result in fuel injection equipment deterioration and increased fuel consumption.
  • Avoid travelling during peak hours
    Optimum fuel economy is achieved during steady constant speed driving. Stop-start driving significantly increases fuel consumption.
  • Use air conditioning sparingly
  • Measure the fuel consumption of your vehicle and consider replacing your vehicle with a more modern, high technology, fuel efficient product.
Vehicle Manufacturers worldwide are committed to providing safer, high-tech, environmentally friendly and highly fuel efficient new products.

Issued by NAAMSA in the interests of promoting awareness about practical fuel savings tips and reducing green-house gas emissions.


24th April, 2007