Published on: 18 Jul 2018
Getting out and about can be expensive, especially if you prefer to drive. Still, the freedom and flexibility of a car can be a lifeline, especially in these sunny summer months when the family can pile in for a trip to the seaside.
If you find yourself filling up the tank more often than you would like, make sure you’re doing everything you can to save money when you do. Check out our tips for ways to bring those fuel prices down, or increase your efficiency so you’re at the pumps less often .
Find the cheapest petrol or diesel near you
Petrol, diesel, and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, used for cooking, heating, and certain vehicles) prices can fluctuate from forecourt to forecourt.
Fortunately, the free tool at PetrolPrices.com can help you hone in on those bargains. After registering you simply enter your postcode and specify how far you are willing to travel for a top up. It will list the cheapest prices at different petrol stations on that day, within your specified range. There is a limit of 20 free searches a month.
If you find yourself needing more frequent updates, try a similar tool over at Confused.com, which sees the petrol prices updated only about once a week, but offers 20 free searches a week.
Although you may end up saving pennies with a quick detour, this can add up over the long term, and you may find yourself paying up to 10% less for the same amount of fuel.
Consider a loyalty scheme
Many petrol stations and supermarkets offer loyalty schemes, and frequent fill-ups mean you may find yourself with a decent reward at the end of the year. However, the benefits of loyalty schemes are often outweighed by the savings you’ll get from a little bit of research, so never prioritise brand loyalty over a few extra pounds in your pocket.
Make your car more fuel efficient
Every little helps when it comes to fuel, so consider these small adjustments to help you go further.
- Don't fill up, as a full tank can be heavy. Consider topping up to 3/4 of a tank more frequently.
- Remove your roof rack. An unused roof rack can cause extra drag and chip away at your fuel efficiency.
- Make sure your tyres are inflated. Low tyre pressure can also increase drag, so check them regularly for a smoother run.
- Turn off the AC. Air conditioning can use a surprising amount of fuel, so consider turning it off unless absolutely needed.
Split the cost
It will depend on your circumstances, but teaming up with a friend, family member, or colleague can help bring those costs down. Travel to and from work is often the biggest expense, so consider adjusting your schedule to include a workmate who lives nearby. You can either take turns driving to work, or one person can contribute to fuel prices.
If you’re struggling to find someone who is willing to team up, consider checking out Liftshare to find other commuters who match your journey.
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