Ten years ago, 10 litres of fuel would have only set you back R104,70. Today, we are paying more than double that amount for every 10 litres. Filling up on fuel has become much more expensive, but leaving your tank empty could cost you even more.

To cushion South Africans from the hard knocks oil market, the government implemented a temporary reduction in the general fuel levy of R1.50 per litre in April 2022, which was reduced to 75c per litre from 6 July 2022 to 2 August 2022. But all it took to realise what little padding that cushion offered was a trip to the filling station.

Whether you are the type of driver that fills up your tank in one go or one that does what they can to get to a quarter tank, the cost of petrol makes it almost impossible to heed every beckoning call of the Low Fuel Light. More and more South Africans are basking in the glow of their Low Fuel Lights as everyday costs continue to rise. But experts say it’s bad to make driving on empty a regular habit.


So, what if I run out of fuel?!

Your modern fuel destroyer may have flared the low fuel warning light. It may have even told you exactly how many kilometres you can drive until you’re entirely out of fuel, but you can still find yourself out of juice (technological advancements are no match for human flaws). That’s when you’ll be glad about the emergency roadside assistance that all dotsure.co.za car insurance policy holders enjoy (If your car ever does run out of gas, it’s nice to know someone will be there to help).

Repeatedly running your tank stone dry could lead to premature fuel pump failure. The fuel pump is lubricated and cooled by the fuel that passes through it. While it may be okay to wait for the fuel light before filling up, running your tank completely dry to the point of engine failure is not a good practice.


Remember, repairs are more expensive than fuel.

If you’re driving on empty, your fuel pump is probably overheating (remember, it’s the fuel that helps it keep its cool). This can speed up the rate at which the fuel pump will deteriorate or fail.