Motorists have plenty of different costs to worry about when it comes to keeping on the road, from the initial outlay to the ever-increasing car insurance and road tax.
But none is more significant on a day-to-day basis than petrol and diesel. So how can drivers keep the costs of refilling to a minimum?
When you want to buy something, whether it’s a new pair of trainers, a car or a computer console, chances are you shop around to try to find the best possible price. Most of us don’t simply buy from the first store we visit.
That isn’t always the case with our fuel though, with many motorists simply using the nearest garage, without taking into account the price they charge.
It doesn’t have to be like this though. By using a website like PetrolPrices.com, you can see how much the different garages in your area charge, ensuring that the next time you need to visit the pump you can find the cheapest possible rate.
Get a loyalty card
Some garages offer their own loyalty card, which can save you money the more you visit.
For example, with the Shell Drivers Club you earn points for every litre of fuel you purchase, with further points available when you spend money in the garage shop or pay for a car wash.
These points can then be converted into money off the next time you need to fill up.
Use the right credit card
Different credit cards do vastly different things - while some are a great option if you’re looking to pay off a large debt, others offer you a reward every time you use them, whether that’s in the form of loyalty points or even cashback.
As a result, if you use one of these cards when you fill up your motor, while the actual price of the fuel won’t change, you will at least get something back for having spent that money.
It’s really important to remember that these cards are only an option if you are the sort of person that clears their balance in full every month, and so doesn’t pay any interest. If you don’t do that, then the interest charged on your outstanding balance will quickly wipe out any benefit you get from the rewards points or cashback.
Some supermarkets occasionally offer vouchers for money off fuel when you spend a certain amount in store. For example, Tesco has just finished a promotion where you could get a voucher for 10p a litre off petrol or diesel when you spent £60 in store.
Keeping an eye on which supermarkets are offering these deals, and then using those supermarkets for your weekly shop, can save you a decent amount on your fuel.
It’s all a matter of timing.
Improve your fuel efficiency
The simplest way to save money on your fuel is to improve your fuel efficiency, ensuring that you get more miles out of the petrol and diesel you pay for.
There are plenty of different ways you can do this, ranging from keeping your tyres properly inflated to lightening the vehicle by taking out all of the clutter in there that you don’t really need.
The way that you drive will make a significant difference to your fuel use as well. For example, the smoother you accelerate and brake, the less fuel you will use, meaning you get more for your money.