File picture: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters.

Johannesburg - Motorists who drive petrol powered cars can look forward to some price relief at the pumps from early November, but those operating diesel vehicles are set to be hit with yet another increase.

Motorists could be looking at a petrol price decrease of up to 20 cents a litre if current oil price and currency trends persist until Thursday, November 1. At the time of writing (Tuesday, Oct 30) the average for the month so far pointed to a decrease of 13 cents, according to data released by the Central Energy Fund. However daily price movements have been pushing that average in the right direction by at least three cents a day for over a week.

Were November’s petrol price to be based solely on the past week, we could have seen a price decrease in the region of 80 cents, however rand weakness and high oil prices in the first half of the month have skewed the average - in fact mid-month data had pointed to a price hike in the region of 40 cents a litre.

Oil prices are currently working in our favour, having dipped recently on fears that global growth may be slowing, according to Reuters.

If recent trends persist through November, and that is a really big IF given the general volatility of markets, motorists could see another price decrease in December, just in time for those Silly Season road trips.

The projected petrol price decrease also works on the assumption that government doesn’t try to recoup some of the fuel price increase that it absorbed at the beginning of September.

Diesel prices remain stubbornly high

However, the aforementioned price relief does not apply to diesel, which is looking likely to increase by between 25 cents and 30 cents a litre from early November. However this is still far less than the 70 c/l that was projected mid-month.

The slight petrol price relief and diesel price hike predicted for November comes on the back of a spate of painful increases throughout the year, which have left motorists and commuters reeling from record prices. Motorists based inland currently pay R16.85 a litre for 93 octane Unleaded and R17.08 for 95 Unleaded, while those at the coast pay R16.49 for 95.

Petrol prices have increased by R2.65 a litre since January, and diesel by R2.91.

Local fuel taxed to death

These increases have put the spotlight on the government-imposed taxes on South African fuel, and there have been widespread calls for a reduction in fuel levies, which amount to R5.30 (R3.37 for the General Fuel Levy and R1.93 for the Road Accident Fund).

There has also been talk of a cap on the price of 93 Unleaded petrol, but no further developments have been announced since the news broke earlier in October.

IOL Motoring