Mention the petrol price, and steam will begin to emerge from the average motorist's ears. Yes, fuel in South Africa is becoming ridiculously expensive, and we all secretly enjoy complaining about it. But there is something you can do to ease your wallet's pain.
Check out these green driving tips from UK road safety charity, the IAM.
- Try to brake as infrequently as possible - slow down and take your foot off the accelerator earlier when approaching a queue, junction, roundabout or red traffic lights. Look further ahead of you so you can start doing things earlier, making braking smoother and more gradual.
- If you get stuck in a traffic jam, switch your engine off while you wait.
- Stick to the speed limit. This offers a fair compromise between economy and getting somewhere efficiently. There's a significant saving made by doing driving at the speed limit as opposed to exceeding it, as well as avoiding any risk of speeding fines.
- If you are able to do so, use block gear changing (e.g. 2nd to 4th when accelerating, or 5th to 2nd when decelerating). This is more fuel-efficient than working your way through the gears.
- Reverse into parking bays. If you do all the manoeuvring with a hot engine you can drive straight off when you come back and warm the engine up more quickly.
- Check your vehicle regularly to ensure it operates efficiently. In particular, check your tyre tread depth and pressure (tyre pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold, before the air inside them heats up).
- Remove excess weight, including roof racks, car clutter and unnecessary items in the boot. The more weight you carry in the car, the more fuel you'll consume.
IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "We've all got better things to spend our money on than petrol. Green driving can save you up to 15 percent on your bills, as well as reducing your carbon emissions."