Petrol price tax

Image: Adobe Stock

Petrol price: Here’s what filling up would cost if fuel was tax-free

As the petrol price is set to rise next month, the amount of tax you pay on fuel also goes up. Here’s how much the government gets when you fill your tank.

Petrol price tax

Image: Adobe Stock

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry on the forecourt. After consecutive months of record petrol price declines, the costs are likely to go up again at the start of next month – just as South Africa leaves its hard version of lockdown.

The bitter irony has not been lost on the motorists of Mzansi. Petrol prices dropped through the floor during a turbulent April, yet none of us could really go anywhere. The first time we get permission to approach something resembling normality, and bam: This happens. And just wait until you see the tax balance…

Petrol prices: Where do our taxes go?

It’s estimated that around 48 – 50% of what we pay for our fuel goes straight to the government. As the AA explains, there are two main taxable elements which make up our fluctuating fuel costs:

“Collectively, these levies comprise a whopping 48% to 50% of every litre of fuel sold in the country. The General Fuel Levy represents 31% per litre of fuel inland, and 32% of a litre of fuel at the coast. The RAF Levy represents between 17-18% on every litre of fuel sold.”

“Together government is projected to gather a total of around R135 billion from these levies with around R87bn coming from the GFL (which goes directly to Treasury and which can be used for any purpose the government determines), and R48bn coming from the RAF Levy.”

AA statement

We couldn’t stop our minds from wandering… if South Africa was to, say, ‘do a Venezuela’ and lift all tax on their petrol prices, how much would we be paying to fill up our tanks? With costs set to rise – and a potential diesel shortage on the horizon – we’ve decided to crunch the numbers.

How much would fuel cost, if it was tax-free in South Africa?

(Current figures published by the AA, petrol only)

On Wednesday 27 May

Coastal:

  • Average per-litre price of petrol: R11.52
  • How much goes towards the General Fuel Levy: R3.77
  • How much goes towards the Road Accident Fund: R2.07
  • Total percentage of fuel costs spent on taxes: Just over 50%
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITH TAXES: R576
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITHOUT TAXES: R292

Inland:

  • Average per-litre price of petrol: R12.02
  • How much goes towards the General Fuel Levy R3.77
  • How much goes towards the Road Accident Fund: R2.07
  • Total percentage of fuel costs spent on taxes: 48.5%
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITH TAXES: R601
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITHOUT TAXES: R309

With June’s forecast petrol prices:

Coastal:

  • Average per-litre price of petrol: R12.72
  • How much goes towards the General Fuel Levy: R3.94
  • How much goes towards the Road Accident Fund: R2.29
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITH TAXES: R636
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITHOUT TAXES: R324

Inland:

  • Average per-litre price of petrol: R13.42
  • How much goes towards the General Fuel Levy: R4.16
  • How much goes towards the Road Accident Fund: R2.41
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITH TAXES: R670
  • Price to fill up an average tank of petrol (45 – 50L) WITHOUT TAXES: R342.50