Money

How to spend less on petrol

Published on November 9, 2018 12:29 am, by

Over the past few weeks petrol prices have been at their highest for 10 years – the result of higher oil prices, a low Australian dollar and higher profit margins for petrol retailers. The only sure fire way of avoiding high petrol prices is to switch to alternatives such as electric vehicles – then you’re likely to be stung by high electricity prices!

But there are ways to spend less on petrol. Having a car that is well maintained, tires that are properly inflated and driving carefully can all reduce your fuel usage and save you money at the bowser.

Your petrol buying habits can also save you money. We think most drivers can save at least $260 a year (and some can save a lot more) using these strategies:

1. Always fill up at the cheapest station you can find – forgot loyalty to a brand, filling up at the cheapest station can often save you around 20c a litre or about $12.00 a tank. Try using a petrol app or web site to find the cheapest prices (see below for our favourite apps and sites)

2. Fill up when prices are cheap, but just as importantly keep your car full when prices are cheap. This means filling up every day or two when prices are cheap. That way, when prices increase you will have a near full tank

3. If you have to fill up when prices are high, shop around, the budget stations will be much cheaper than the brand stations

4. Don’t be sucked in by shopping discounts – only use them when they give you the cheapest price. In our experience this is more likely at the bottom of the price cycle than at the top

The average Australian drives almost 13,000 km a year and the average fuel consumption for Australian cars is about 10 litres per 100km. That works out to be around 1300 litres of petrol per year and if you can save 20 cents per litre you will have $260 more in your pocket. If you drive more than 13,000 km a year (and lots of us do) you will save even more.

Soon MoneyBrilliant will be sending you alerts to help you save money on petrol – in some areas we will even be able to tell you where to get the cheapest petrol – just make sure your postcode and suburb details are correct in your MoneyBrilliant profile.

Our favourite petrol price web sites and apps

StateSite or appFeatures
NSWNSW Fuel Check web sitePrices are updated in real time by stations under NSW legislation
NSW Fuel Check app – iOS
NSW Fuel Check app – Android
VICRACV web siteShows price trend and prices for specific stations by postcode or suburb
QLDRACQ web siteShows a “fair price” for petrol each day and prices for specific stations by postcode or suburb
WAWA Fuel Watch web sitePrices are updated in real time or in advance under WA legislation
SAMotormouth web siteDisplays prices from various sources including from stations themselves and motorists
Motormouth app – iOS
Motormouth app – Android
TASMotormouth web siteDisplays prices from various sources including from stations themselves and motorists
Motormouth app – iOS
Motormouth app – Android
NTMyFuelNT web sitePrices are updated in real time by stations under NT legislation

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Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

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