Spending Shakedown – Auto and Transport

Published on December 4, 2018 9:31 pm, by

Car registration is a set price for your vehicle. When it comes to cars there are some categories that are best just avoided, like Driving Fines! Tolls and eTags are obviously user’s pay, so the best way to reduce this category is to try to find routes that avoid tolls depending on how much time you have.

Petrol & Car Expenses

The two most effective ways to spend less on petrol are to firstly buy when the petrol is cheap and secondly find the cheapest petrol station near you.

We can help you with buying cheap petrol! Just make sure you have given us your correct suburb and we will let you know when prices are at the bottom of the cycle. If you want to check this, just head to your profile and check, it can be updated at any time.

If you live in NSW we will also tell you the cheapest station in or around your suburb.

You also need to know that brand loyalty is not worth it! Filling up at the cheapest station can often save you around 20c a litre of $12.00 for an average size tank. Using discount dockets at Coles Express or Caltex Woolworths is often still more costly than the cheapest station often just around the corner.

There are apps that will inform you of the different petrol prices in your area. These are apps you need to know about:

State Site or app Features
NSW NSW Fuel Check web site Prices are updated in real-time by stations under NSW legislation
NSW Fuel Check app – iOS
NSW Fuel Check app – Android
VIC RACV web site Shows price trend and prices for specific stations by postcode or suburb
QLD RACQ web site Shows a “fair price” for the petrol each day and prices for specific stations by postcode or suburb
WA WA Fuel Watch web site Prices are updated in real-time or in advance under WA legislation
SA Motormouth web site Displays prices from various sources including from stations themselves and motorists
Motormouth app – iOS
Motormouth app – Android
TAS Motormouth web site Displays prices from various sources including from stations themselves and motorists
Motormouth app – iOS
Motormouth app – Android
NT MyFuelNT web site Prices are updated in real-time by stations under NT legislation


Reducing parking costs sometimes takes some preparation or local knowledge of where and how to find cheaper parking.

If you’re paying for parking because you drive to work, study or other activities frequently it may be worth asking around locally about a long term rental. Especially close to the city some residents will rent out their car spaces to offset their rental expense.

If you’re leaving your car early each morning to late afternoon, you may also wish to find out if there are Early Bird Parking options in the vicinity of where you’re going.

If you’re paying for parking in a sh0pping centre, you may need to keep your eye on the time, and also see if you receive discounted or free parking for spending over a certain amount. It might be worth stopping by the Info desk to ask.

There are other ways to reduce parking costs, depending on how often and for how long you park. You can also consider downsizing your travel arrangements. Have you considered public transport? How far away do you live? Would Uber Pool be an option that may be cheaper than parking?

Also, you may find free parking a suburb or two away, coupled with $5 transport costs by bus or train might make a big difference to your parking spending over your week and month.

For ad-hoc or infrequent parking costs, we suggest doing some research to find out what the options are in the suburb that you’re visiting.

Public Transport & Taxis

We always suggest to people that an effective way to decrease these costs is by downsizing your travel arrangements. This can mean a variety of things:

  • Riding your bike to work a couple of days a week
  • Getting off a few stops earlier if it’s a different zone and being charged less
  • Compare the cost of different modes of transport – ferry, bus, train
  • Try using Uber Pool instead of Taxi or Uber

Car Insurance & CTP

Car Insurance

It makes sense to review your Car Insurance annually. Loyalty does not pay, rather you will often pay a lazy tax when you’d review. Always prices elsewhere for the same level of cover, and if you find it for less, either ask your insurer to match the price or change providers.

Some other considerations that may reduce your premium:

  • Unless it’s necessary, you can choose not to include young drivers on your policy, this will save you money
  • Check out the excess options, if you agree to pay more in the event of an accident, your premium will be less
  • Look at combining policies, you may get a discount for bundling home, contents and car or just more than one policy
  • Sometimes paying annually works out cheaper than paying monthly – if that’s the case and you can then pay upfront
  • Check that if you’re entitled to a no-claims bonus that it is applied
  • If you don’t drive often, check out Pay as you Drive Insurance Policies that cover you for the kilometres you drive


Compulsory third party insurance is different from insurance as it provides compensation for people injured or killed when a vehicle is involved in an accident. Effectively, the driver of the vehicle causing the injury is being indemnified against claims for the damage and losses that were caused.

In some states, there is only one CTP underwriter and the CTP premium is included in your registration. In Qld, ACT, SA, and NSW there are multiple CTP insurers. You need to obtain CTP insurance quotes to determine the cheapest CTP price available in those states.

Car Servicing

Having your car serviced at a car dealer is often the most costly way to go. There are some valid reasons for having your car serviced through the dealer. These may include –

  • Free or discounted services offered when you purchased the car
  • Conditions under extended warranty

We recommend understanding your warranty, often dealers will tell you that you need to have your car serviced at the dealership for the warranty to be enforceable, however, according to the ACCC this is incorrect,

“Provided you service the vehicle in accordance with any such requirements, the warranty will remain valid. If the manufacturer’s warranty states that the vehicle can only be serviced by an authorised dealer, this may raise concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act.”

Like other services, we suggest you shop around. Some Automobile clubs such as RACV and NRMA will give discounts to their members.

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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