The price of diesel is not regulated in South Africa so it’s up to each service station to decide what they want to charge. Since diesel prices that have doubled in the past five years, finding the best deal just makes common sense, especially when your tank takes 90 litres to fill!.
The cheapest we’ve found is at the Quest truck stop on the southern outskirts of Beaufort West. (Turn north at the most southerly traffic lights outside Beaufort West where there are a number of truck stops. Skip the two alongside the N1 on either side of the traffic lights — their diesel is only slightly discounted. Quest is behind them on the right hand side of the road.)
Quest’s price for standard diesel in Beaufort West : R13.09/litre (3 Feb 2014)
Shell Champion service station on Rivonia Road, Johannesburg that discounts on Wednesdays & Saturdays — standard diesel on a Wednesday: R13.60/litre (29 Jan 2014)
Shell ERL service station in Thaba Nchu– low-sulphur diesel: R14.12/litre (3 Feb 2014)
OverbergAgri, Stanford low-sulphur diesel : R13.74/litre (14 Feb 2014)
Waterfront Service Station (Caltex) low-sulphur diesel : R13.65 (18 Feb 2014)
There was a price increase on 5 February, so the Waterfront presents a pretty good deal!
Note: standard diesel is 500ppm Sulphur and is sometimes all one can get at truck stops. Low-sulphur diesel is 50ppm Sulphur or lower and is slowly replacing standard diesel completely.
When SatNav goes into reload hell!
If you’re driving from the north down the N1, rather turn SatNav off if you’re using Telmap. Because Telmap needs some serious reprogramming and will keep on telling you to take the R353 ( a dirt road) 85km south of Beaufort West, even after you’ve taken the R328 (the usual route when approaching from the south) and you’re only 5km outside Prince Albert!
The N1 south of Beaufort West proved to be a stop/go hell because of road construction, and with about 5 stop/go’s, waiting time added over 30 minutes to the ±160km journey from Beaufort West. This section of the N1 is best avoided at any time! Rather use Route 62 for trips to Cape Town and towns nearby or — a great tip from Elaine Hurford if you’re heading for Prince Albert — take the N12 about 5km outside Beaufort West and then turn right into the R407 at the T-junction.
“A lovely, quiet, scenic tarred road past some historic farmsteads and an olive farm. It’s beautiful and what a pleasure to get off the N1,” says Elaine.
N1 and R353 (gravel for 44km ) — 131km
N1 and R328 — 160km
N12 & R407 — 164km — recommended route