Conserving fuel while driving is easy to achieve and brings several benefits:
- it saves money;
- it conserves depleting oil reserves;
- it reduces pollution and CO2 emissions; and
- it helps to increase safety on the roads.
There are many simple ways to increase fuel efficiency and conserve fuel:
- use a bicycle or public transport where possible;
- plan trips to combine activities and so eliminate unnecessary driving;
- reduce driving speed;
- try to avoid traffic as much as possible;
- inflate tyres to correct pressure;
- use appropriate gears;
- avoid unnecessary idling;
- buy a more fuel efficient car (if you really need to buy a new car).
I have a 1998 model Toyota Corolla 160i that I use mainly for trips from my farm to Cape Town (on the N2 highway). I always check my tyre pressure before leaving Heidelberg. I now limit my speed to no more than 100km/hr and use the air-conditioning as little as possible. I have taken to free-wheeling down hills when there is little or no traffic. I used to get an average of about 12 kms per litre on the open road. By implementing these driving habits, I have raised my mileage to over 14 kms/litre - a 17% increase - on the national road. This translates to a R70 saving on a 50 litre tank of fuel. I also feel considerably safer driving at 100kms/hr instead of 120kms/hr.