Are you ready for another fuel price increase, nah didn’t think so, no one ever is. We looked into why petrol is so expensive in South Africa and where a lot the money is actually going. You will be surprised how much tax gets added to the petrol price, let’s dig in:

Why Your Petrol is So Expensive

South Africans are becoming more and more frustrated as a simple trip to the petrol station has the potential to empty their bank account. What used to be their trusted little car has become a greedy fuel-guzzling monster. With prices that rise and salaries that don’t, many of us are beginning to wonder exactly where our hard-earned money is going.

Why Prices Rise

Basically, prices rise as a result of fuel levy increases.  Simply put, fuel levy increases refer to the portion of the money that gets given to the National Treasury for each litre of fuel we buy. This can be impacted by many factors, including our weak exchange rate. We are paying excessive prices for petrol but make sure you aren’t being overcharged for your car insurance and check your premium against prices from over 9 providers with our 3-minute online quick quote:Paying too much for your car insurance

A few weeks ago, the South African National Director of Public Prosecutions announced that around R1.4 trillion has been lost to state capture. With so much money being wasted, you would think that our government would focus on coming up with ways to combat money-loss and corruption. Instead, it spends its valuable time thinking of new ways to tax us! Just one example of the many ways the average Joe in South Africa is being punished for the mistakes of those in power.

So Where Does Your Money Go?

While you may think that your money is being used to pay for the yellow liquid that fills up your car, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, you’re paying for both the fuel itself as well as a bunch of hidden taxes. Pretty sneaky, right? Here’s a quick breakdown of where your money goes when you pull up at your local petrol station:

Rand per 50L tank (Inland)

Petrol unleaded 95 Diesel 50 ppm
Basic Fuel Price (R) 346.50




Fuel tax (R) 180.50




Customs & Excise (R) 2.00




Road Accident Fund (R) 99.00




Transport Costs (R) 28.50




Wholesale Margin (R) 17.25




Secondary Storage (R) 10.50




Secondary Distribution (R) 7.50




Demand Side Management Levy (R) 5.00




Retail Margin (R) 99.00




TOTAL (R) 795.75 817.50

So, let’s say you have a petrol unleaded car with a 50L tank. As you can see, you will be paying a whopping R795.75 each time you fill up. But did you know that the actual cost of the petrol is only R346.50 (43% of the total price) and 57% of that money is tax, levies and a small portion included is storage costs and margins.

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It’s bad enough that we’ve had to deal with our hard-earned money being used to fund political corruption, and now it feels as if we need to sell our kidneys in order to get to work and back. Us South Africans have had enough!

What Can We Do? Cut Our Costs

At this rate, South Africans are cutting their costs in every way possible. Some may choose not to eat out on Friday nights anymore, while others might try to save on expenses such as car and life insurance. At this point in South Africa, the only thing we can do is save where ever we can.

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