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Your tracking device can help you save, despite increasing fuel prices

The largest single increase on the price of fuel was implemented at midnight recently, and motorists are now paying 99 cents more per litre for 93 octane, R1 more for 95 octane and R1.24 more per litre of diesel, with further increases still on the cards before the end of the year.

These increases have tipped the price of fuel to the highest it has been in decades. Currently, the fuel price in South Africa has risen by over 9% in the last year and 66% over the last 10 years. Moreover, fuel spend makes up nearly 30% of total spending in the motor trade industry every month, and motorists are spending more on fuel than new cars. As any analyst or economist will confirm, the rising fuel price has a direct knock-on impact on the cost of goods and services, and thereby a trickle down effect on the cost of living in South Africa.

In these tough economic times, motorists are feeling the pinch, and with continuous increases on the cost per litre of fuel, there is little relief being forecast. Understandably, this leaves motorists looking for new ways to save money and manage their monthly budgets. One possible solution is to pay more attention to their vehicle tracking device, as these solutions can help motorists adopt smarter, safer and more efficient driving behaviours to curb fuel expenditure and put more money back into their pockets.

Vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery technology has evolved over the years and can vary from basic vehicle tracking to advanced telematics and personal safety solutions. The device captures information about the vehicle's movements and how it is being driven. This type of data includes harsh braking, harsh acceleration, harsh cornering and speeding, among others. These solutions make it possible for motorists to receive alerts about their driving behaviour as well as the fuel consumption pattern in line with these.

One of the big secrets behind saving on fuel spend is to manage driving behaviour. Motorists can make use of the insights from the tracking solution to calculate their exact fuel expenses per trip. For example, the information the tracking device provides can be used to inform drivers' choices on changing their routes, or adjusting their behaviour to smart and safer driving that will also ultimately improve the fuel consumption of their vehicles. Ultimately, the smarter one drives, the more money one can save.

Below are a few tips to driving smarter and saving on fuel that all motorists should keep top of mind:

* Make fewer trips, where possible; * Avoid rush-hour traffic or harsh stop-start driving, where possible, and rather leave earlier; * Drive smart and stick to the speed limits; * Drive smoothly and avoid unnecessary acceleration or pushing the accelerator too far down; * When safe to do so, rather open windows and avoid using the air-conditioning in the warmer seasons; * Avoid excessive idling; * Do not carry unnecessary heavy weight around, such as a roof rack, unless it's being used; and * Check tyre pressure frequently.

MiX Telematics

MiX Telematics

Founded in 1995, MiX Telematics is a global provider of driver safety, vehicle tracking and fleet management products and services to consumers and companies of all sizes in 111 countries across six continents. The company's commercial product range helps fleet owners ensure driver and passenger safety, reduce fleet running and fuel costs, comply with industry regulations, and track and protect vehicles and drivers. Commercial customers include Parmalat, Schlumberger, Chevron, Greyhound, Spar, De Lijn, Vectalia-Subus and Scania. MiX Telematics has offices in South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom, North America, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, and works via an extensive global distribution network.

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