With the South African economy being downgraded to junk status by two of the three major economy rating agencies, now is a better time than ever to start saving Rands wherever possible! If you’re looking to hire a rental car and take Durban’s expansive stretches of tarmac by storm, saving fuel by driving responsibly is going to save you petrol – and give you peace of mind that you’re doing your part for greenhouse gas emission reduction. Before picking up your hire car or truck, have a look at our five fuel saving driving tips that actually work…
Are you one of those ‘pedal to the metal’ kind of drivers? The science is sound on this topic: the harder you press your accelerator, the more fuel you are using. To save fuel while driving a rental car, consider a light-footed approach to acceleration. Allow yourself no less than five seconds to reach 25km/h from stand-still. Don’t worry about being called a granny driver – you’ll have the last laugh when you calculate your fuel consumption on that tank.
There’s a reason why long distance driving gives you better fuel consumption than inner-city driving. Dips in speed, idling at robots, and accelerating from standstill eat through a tank of petrol like an army worm on an ear of corn. In fact, studies show that city driving can increase your fuel usage by up to 20 percent! The rule of thumb for optimum fuel efficiency is to keep your revolutions per minute between 2000 and 2500 wherever possible.
Think about braking like this: if you need to brake, you’ve accelerated more than you need to (emergency braking is the exception). While braking itself does not waste petrol, the wastage comes in when you have to accelerate after coming to a standstill. The key to efficient braking and fuel conservation here is anticipation. Instead of racing to a red light, release the accelerator pedal and slowly approach the white line. If you’re lucky, the robot will turn green before you start to stall and you can ease back onto the accelerator.
Just because you aren’t accelerating doesn’t mean you’re not using petrol. This not only wastes precious fuel, but it releases unnecessary greenhouse gasses into the fragile atmosphere. The rule of thumb is this: if you’re going to stop for longer than 30 seconds, rather turn off the engine. During the colder winter months, if you’re driving a hire car that was manufactured in the last 20 years, you really don’t need to idle it for ten minutes before hitting the road. Allow around 30 seconds for the engine to warm up, and you’re good to go!
Wherever possible, consider parking in the shade. Besides keeping the interior of the car cool – reducing the need to use the air-conditioner – this will reduce the amount of fuel wastage caused by evaporation. As an added fuel saving measure, when filling up with petrol at the service station, check to see that the fuel cap has been tightly fastened by the attendant.
When better to practice fuel saving driving tips than when you’re driving someone else’s car? Contact Highway Car and Bakkie Hire for fuel-efficient rental vehicles at affordable prices today!