Debunking Petrol Station Myths

Posted by Carolien Henn on Apr 6, 2022 6:00:00 AM
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Does your local petrol station owner control the price of fuel? Can you switch petrol stations regularly? Does the quality differ at different providers, and how does switching between each affect your outboard? These are the questions that many boaters wonder as they pull into a petrol station, with no way of knowing the answer until it’s too late. Until now. There are many petrol station myths floating around South Africa, some of which have a bit of truth within them, while others are certainly incorrect. Understanding which ones you can trust might just save you on maintenance this year. 

Fuel is the same at all petrol stations

Myth. In South Africa, our fuel is standardized by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, which is responsible for regulating the petroleum pipelines industry in accordance with the Petroleum Pipelines Act, 2003 (Act No. 60 of 2003). So there’s a standard that ensures the base of all fuel brands is the same, but every brand will still add their own mix of additives into their particular fuel. In short, fuel brands are never the same.

Pump your own fuel if there’s no attendant

Myth. While pumping your own fuel might be the case for countries like the USA, UK, France, and Spain, it’s not the case in South Africa. In fact, it’s illegal to serve yourself at a petrol station in SA. The reasons for this are various, but they mostly revolve around health and safety. When you next have the inkling to self-serve yourself, rather wait for the trained attendant, who understands the risks and warnings involved in dealing with fuel.

Petrol pumps are not accurate

Myth. Petrol pumps are accurate, although there can be mistakes made. If you want to ensure you’re accurately paying for what you get, then always ensure the pump board display reading is set at ZERO. You’ll also want to double-check that the attendant fills up your tanks with the correct fuel.

Get out of your vehicle if you can while the attendant fills up your tank.

Filling station owners control the petrol price

Myth. As we’ve mentioned earlier in this post, the price of petrol is controlled through a number of systems and key players, but the idea that filling station owners play a role in petrol hikes is false. The petrol retail price is regulated by the government, and the calculation of the new price is done by the Central Energy Fund (CEF) on behalf of the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME)


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