The Rising Price of Petrol: 7 Tips For Finding Fuel-Efficient Cars

Aug 2021

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The price of petrol these days, right?

Unfortunately, the price of petrol in South Africa keeps increasing and so does the cost of living. It doesn’t only influence whether you get to go away for a weekend, it also affects the kind of car you are looking to buy. If all there was to buying a pre-owned car was choosing the colour, paying for it, and driving away into the sunset, your dream car would already be yours.

However, we have to consider the long-term commitments that come with buying a car; including the maintenance and car service, and the petrol consumption. Driving a big fancy car is great, but when you are spending all of your extra money on petrol, they tend to lose their appeal rather quickly. If you are tired of spending your hard-earned money on petrol, read on as we share a few tips that can help you find the most affordable, fuel-efficient pre-owned cars in South Africa:

What are your vehicle needs?

Before purchasing a car, you need to figure out what your needs are. How will your lifestyle influence the car you choose? Do you have a family? Do you travel long distances for work? How often do you use the car?

You know that you want to save on petrol and that you are looking for a fuel-efficient second-hand car, but how does that affect the kind of car you should invest in? If you have a family, you will likely need a bigger car which means that you may have to compromise some fuel efficiency for size. Citton Cars offers a Toyota Avanza – Avanza 1.5 SX A/T which has a fuel consumption of 6.1 litres/100km. If you are single, the Toyota Etios – Etios 1.5 Xs/Sprint 5Dr coming in at 6.0 litres/100km might be a good option for you.

Make sure your car suits your lifestyle. If you drive long distances, buying a fuel-hungry car might set you back a few thousand rands per month. Figure out what you want and find a vehicle that meets the criteria.

Bigger is not always better

It’s true – sometimes bigger is not better, especially if you want to save on petrol. Smaller cars tend to have a bigger bang for their buck. They may not be as powerful as cars with large engines, but they get you to your destination just fine. Keep an eye out for cars that have a fuel consumption of 6.0 litres/100km or below and make sure that the engine capacity is between 1-1.5 litres. Anything higher can be quite fuel heavy.

Does it have cruise control?

With cruise control, you can save almost 15% on fuel because the car is able to maintain a standard speed. However, if you are sitting in traffic on your way to and from work, then cruise control won’t help very much. In this case, you’ll just have to master that clutch control and find a car that doesn’t guzzle petrol.

Keep age in mind

This tip is especially useful if you are buying a used car. If the car is more than eight years old, the odds are that the fuel-saving technology was not as developed as it is now. Buying an older used car probably means that it has a larger engine which increases the fuel consumption. If you can, invest in a newer and more technologically advanced vehicle to reap the benefits of fuel-conscious innovation.  

Look at the gears

Cars that have more gear options tend to turn fewer revs per mile (rpm). This means that the car uses less petrol at higher speeds because the revs per mile are fewer. Stick to cars that have fifth and sixth gears so that you can cruise without having to worry about revving up your petrol budget.

Look at fuel-saving features

When buying a car, you want to make sure that the features included are geared towards reducing fuel consumption. For example, does the car have a sunroof? Does it have tinted windows? These features regulate the temperature inside of the car and allow you to minimise the need for air conditioning. Surprisingly, air conditioning can be quite fuel-heavy, so reducing the need for it can help you save on petrol.

Pick the right brand

While most car brands embrace reducing fuel consumption for economic and environmental reasons, not all car brands are equal. If you want to buy a fuel-efficient pre-owned car, Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda are the most fuel-conscious brands available. However, remember to take the size, make, and year of the vehicle into consideration if you want to be sure that you are making the right decision.

At Citton Cars, we have a selection of over 300 pre-owned cars at our Menlyn and Gezina branches. Whether you want the beefiest, most rugged car available, or the smallest most fuel-conscious car – we can provide. You never know, with the price of petrol these days we might even see you swapping out your Hilux for an Etios.

Feel free to contact your nearest branch for more information on the availability of fuel-efficient cars at Citton Cars – the better way to buy and sell cars.