Five ways to save fuel on long-distance road trips this festive season

The department of mineral resources & energy and Central Energy Fund's #BeFuelSavvy campaign says a well-maintained car and well-planned road trip can go a long way in saving fuel

07 December 2022 - 09:12
Don't spend more than you need to on fuel this festive season with these tips.
Image: Supplied Don't spend more than you need to on fuel this festive season with these tips.

As we head into the festive season, many South Africans will be travelling across the country to enjoy some time out. This means motorists need to be extra vigilant on the road as traffic congestion intensifies and many people look forward to reaching their destination and spending time with their loved ones.

Travelling during the festive season can be costly as motorists have to spend more money on fuel. 

Here are five ways motorists can save on fuel while driving safely:  

1. Car maintenance 

Before embarking on a long-distance journey, it’s important to make sure your car goes for service. This is to make sure the vehicle is functioning well and is not likely to break down. This includes checking the brakes, steering, engine and fluids such as oil, the exhaust and lights. It is also essential to check the tyres, tyre pressure and general wear and tear before the trip. The correct tyre pressure helps motorists save on fuel. 

2. Fill up 

In preparation for the trip ahead, fill up your petrol tank to cut down on the number of petrol stations you need to stop at during the trip. As many motorists will be travelling on open roads, access to filling stations may be limited. To avoid being stranded, motorists should ensure they always have enough fuel.

3. Rest and prepare 

Get enough rest before travelling. Drivers must be fit to drive by making sure they get enough sleep before the trip. It’s important to prepare and run errands before the trip, which include packing suitcases and preparing meals — as this will save you time. When you get enough rest and are prepared, you can travel on time and not be compelled to drive faster, therefore saving on fuel. 

4. Map your journey

Planning for the trip allows you to identify shorter routes and roads you should avoid due to roadworks and traffic congestion. This ensures less fuel consumption. When travelling long distances, avoid driving through towns or cities as there is often an influx of pedestrians and numerous traffic lights. These factors require motorists to continuously accelerate and decelerate, which means using more fuel.  

5. Relax and don’t rush 

While on the road, motorists must remain within speed limits and maintain a steady speed. This helps drivers save on fuel and gives them control of their vehicle should unforeseen events occur on the road. Motorists must also be vigilant while driving to avoid decelerating quickly should they encounter obstructions such as stray animals and roadworks. 

ReseGo, the fuel buddy.
Image: Supplied ReseGo, the fuel buddy.

A fuel-efficient SA

To help motorists be fuel efficient on the roads, the department of mineral resources & energy and Central Energy Fund have embarked on an education campaign called #BeFuelSavvy.

At the heart of the #BeFuelSavvy campaign is the digital fuel buddy ReseGo, a futuristic and energetic character who educates South Africans on the need to be fuel efficient.

ReseGo, which stands for renewable, energy, solar, electric, gas and oil, educates SA households by sharing tips and tricks on how to save fuel, providing the latest on fuel prices across social media platforms such as TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

This article was paid for by Central Energy Fund.