Lockdown: How much money you've saved


Lockdown hasn’t been a particularly positive experience for most, but it has saved you money in fuel and time spent in your car. Tracker released some interesting stats to show just how much Lockdown has saved you.

Tracker, the vehicle recovery company has over 1 million vehicles subscribed to its service. With all that information at hand and data analysis experts Lightstone, it has managed to extrapolate some interesting information during the national Lockdown period. 

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During Lockdown, the roads have been quiet, and the usual mileage you would put in has been drastically reduced. That means fuel costs have come down, in fact, most households that have 2 vehicles have only used 1 during this time.

Tracker’s data indicates that on average, reduced use of passenger vehicles saved 1 150 km of driving, 30 hours on the road and R1 350 in fuel, during the first month of lockdown. This is compared to the average kilometres driven, time spent on the road and money spent on fuel during the month prior to lockdown. Persons who travelled more before lockdown stood to gain greater savings than those with lower mileages. On average, passenger vehicles previously travelling less than 500 km per month saved 4 hours of time on the road and R100 in fuel, while those with a typical mileage of 1 500 km to 2 000 km per month saved 40 hours in drive time and R1 800 on fuel. For further comparison, 500 -1 000 km and 1 000 - 1 500km drivers respectively saved 20 and 30 hours on the road plus R750 and R1 250 in fuel spend.

Most people haven't been able to take advantage of the huge reduction in fuel prices yet.

With fewer vehicles on the road, congestion eased too, allowing the big metros to be navigated quickly. Cape Town experienced the biggest time saving of A to B trips with 36 hours, followed by Johannesburg and Polokwane at 33 hours, then Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and eThekwini at 31 hours, and Rustenburg at 28 hours.

“With many vehicles standing idle during lockdown it is not surprising that motorists have saved a lot of time and money during this period,” says Michael du Preez, Executive: Product and Marketing at Tracker South Africa. “Unfortunately, with travel significantly curtailed, many motorists would not have been able to take advantage of savings from the record fuel price decrease during April, which was close to R2 for petrol and more than R1 for diesel.”

While the savings on fuel can be seen as a silver lining of sorts, the overwhelming effect on the economy can also be seen from the reduced distance travelled by light commercial vehicles. “While many private individuals might not have been able to take advantage of the fuel price decrease during April, the drop might have provided some relief to a few commercial operators,” says Linda Reid, Head of Data for Lightstone. “While probably not enough to make a substantial difference to the negative economic impact of the lockdown for companies, which we are already picking up in the data, perhaps this was a little helpful in containing costs for some. Distances travelled by panel vans are down from 2 350 km to 750 km, while distances travelled by trucks are down from 3 100 km to 1 100 km. The impact on small businesses can be clearly seen in the distances driven by bakkies, which are down from 2 200 km to 700 km.”

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