A customer fuels her car with unleaded petrol at a Morrisons supermarket in Coalville, central England, October 15, 2008. Supermarket chain Morrisons have cut the price of petrol on their forecourts to below £1 ($1.744) for the first time since December last year. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN)

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal motorists are paying the highest commuting costs in the country, with the average driver burning almost R1500 a month in fuel.

This is despite the fuel price being cheaper in the province than in inland provinces.

The National Household Travel Survey, released by Statistics SA, revealed that KwaZulu-Natal drivers of cars, bakkies and trucks were paying an average of R1421 a month on their travel costs, compared with the national average of R1011.

North West and Gauteng drivers pay an average of R1313 and R1291 respectively.

Reasons why KwaZulu-Natal motorists were paying higher petrol costs were not specified, but Dr Isabelle Schmidt, executive manager of social statistics at Stats SA, speculated that it was because people were living further from their places of work.

“We did not specifically interrogate why costs were the way they were.”

However, it is possible that drivers who commute in and around the Durban metro, and from the North and South Coast areas to the metro, may be contributing factors to the relatively high costs.”

Those who used bus transport to and from work were paying about R360 a month, while those using taxis paid an average of R341.

The price of petrol is predicted to go up by 26c a litre at the beginning of August.

The Mercury