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Eco-friendly driving in South Africa

Eco-friendly driving tips for greener roads in South Africa

Driving green is not just a trend – it’s a responsibility. And with climate change a pressing issue, eco-friendly driving habits can lower your carbon footprint, contributing to a healthier planet.

In this guide, we share helpful tips for choosing the right car, driving efficiently, and maintaining your vehicle for the best eco-friendliness as a South African driver.

Choosing the right car

When choosing a car to buy, your choice can make a big difference for the environment. Here are some top tips to help you make the best choice.

Opt for fuel-efficient models

When deciding on a car, look at those with a high fuel economy rating. These cars offer better mileage, are more fuel-efficient and produce fewer emissions. For a list of cars we’d recommend, check out our blog on the most eco-friendly cars.

Electric vehicles (EVs)

Although fairly new to the South African market, electric cars are a fantastic option for reducing your carbon footprint. They release no emissions and can be charged using renewable energy sources. Our guide to electric vehicles takes an in-depth look at the pros and cons of owning one as a South African.

Hybrid vehicles

If an electric car isn’t practical for you, consider a hybrid. What makes a car hybrid? Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor, which means greater fuel economy and reduced emissions.

Eco-friendly driving tips

Changing how you drive can also help the environment, and it’s more affordable. Here are some easy tips to remember out on the road.

Avoid aggressive driving

Sudden acceleration and hard braking use more fuel and add wear and tear to your car, which can damage your car in the long run. Therefore, smooth and steady driving is not only safer but also more fuel-efficient. In other words, good for the planet and good for your budget.

Use cruise control

On long, flat highways, cruise control can help maintain a constant speed, improving fuel economy by preventing unnecessary slowing down and speeding up. If your car has this function, use it when out on the open road and when it’s safe to do so.

Reduce heavy items

Carrying unnecessary weight in your car can greatly impact your fuel efficiency. By removing heavy items from your trunk and back seat, you can improve your gas mileage. So, instead of using your car as a storage unit, keep items at home and collect them when you really need them.

Properly inflated tyres

Keeping your tyres at the right pressure reduces rolling resistance, which basically means how hard your tyres need to work. This increases fuel efficiency and extends the life of your tyres, so it’s a good idea to regularly check and inflate your tyres according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A good tip is to check your tyres every other time you stop for fuel.

Limit idling

Keeping your engine running when the car isn’t moving for long periods wastes fuel and increases emissions. Therefore, if you expect to wait a while, it’s better to turn off the engine and restart when you’re ready to move. For example, if you’re stuck in a stop-and-go or in heavy traffic, rather switch off your car until you get the signal to drive again.

Plan your routes

Use GPS apps, such as Waze or Google Maps, to find the most efficient routes. By avoiding traffic jams and road closures, you save both time and fuel.

Car maintenance for better fuel economy

Regular maintenance keeps your car running efficiently and reduces its impact on the environment. Here are some handy tips, and you can check out our Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist for a timeline.

Regular servicing

A well-maintained engine runs better and uses less fuel. Therefore, with regular servicing, you’ll be able to keep your car in top condition.

Check the air filter

A clean air filter can improve your car’s fuel economy. So, get your car’s service professionals to replace it as often recommended by the car’s manufacturer.

Use the right motor oil

Using the manufacturer’s suggested grade of motor oil can improve your fuel economy by 1-2%. Look for motor oil labelled as “energy conserving” and contains friction-reducing additives.

Enjoy peace of mind with Prime car insurance

Having the right car insurance is essential for every driver. And with Prime South Africa, you can enjoy the freedom of knowing you and your car are protected, no matter what life throws your way.

We offer comprehensive coverage for complete peace of mind as well as more budget-friendly options like our Customised and Third-Party PLUS coverage. With fixed premiums for 24 months* and excess that reduces to zero, don’t wait until it’s too late – get the Prime insurance coverage you need today.

Happy greener travels

Knowing these eco-friendly driving tips, you can make a real positive impact on both your fuel consumption and the environment. Remember, every small step (and fuel-efficient kilometre) counts towards a greener future for South Africa and our planet.


This article provides general information on eco-friendly driving practices. However, this article does not include all available information. Therefore, always do your own independent research.

Remember to buy car insurance carefully and only through a certified financial services provider.

Contact us today to learn more about getting affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. *T&Cs apply.

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