Petrol and diesel costs consistently seem to be at an all-time high, with little sign of easing and it’s now one of the largest bills families across the UK face each month. Filling up cars with larger tanks can now be an eye-watering experience at the pumps as we see the counter roll towards the £100 mark. Thoughts move to what else could be bought with the money – a new outfit, a mini-holiday in the UK, a well-deserved romantic night out.
It’s painful, no-one likes the cost of petrol and diesel but unfortunately there’s not much hope that prices will drop overnight. This means it’s up to you to cut your bill and we’ve put together 3 simple steps below that are sure to knock pounds off your bills.
Step 1: Find the cheapest fuel prices near you
This may sound incredibly obvious, yet thousands of people will still fill up at the most convenient petrol station, whether it’s on the school-run or way into work. By using free to use sites like PetrolPrices.com
, you can sign up with just an email address and then type in your postcode to find prices close to you. This activity alone can save around 2p per litre, which is £1 for a 50litre tank. Based on an average MPG of 35 miles to the gallon, you’d save around £25 for every 10,000 miles you drive. You can see how this can soon multiply if you’re saving more than 2p a litre.
Step 2: Be more efficient with the fuel
By being more efficient, you can increase the Miles Per Gallon you achieve from your car, which means you’re effectively paying less for each mile you drive as the petrol or diesel goes further. There are some really simple measures that can make a difference.
Starting with the outside, you should remove any roofboxes and cycle racks when not in use (to reduce drag) and make sure you’re tyres are inflated to the recommended pressures. Manufacturers spend millions of pounds on aerodynamics, in order to boast high MPG figures and you can un-do this work in seconds by not following these simple steps. Best of all – they don’t cost you any money to perform and you’re also ensuring the safety of your passengers by keeping your tyres inflated correctly. If these measures sound too much for you initially, try just de-cluttering your car as the added weight you’re carrying again will burn off more fuel.
We then move on to driving styles as well as aspects during a journey. The biggest user of fuel tends to be air-conditioning, as a separate pump is run for the system to work, causing more fuel to be required. Most modern cars come with air-con or climate control systems, which run continuously but can be turned off. As it’s rarely hot enough in the UK to warrant it, try and keep the manual mode turned on (so you can’t see any icicle symbols or ‘auto’ text) and this could help you to boost your efficiency by a couple of miles per gallon. It’s a great way to cut your petrol costs as you’re using less and again it doesn’t require much effort. You can then boost it further by adjusting your driving style to avoid heavy acceleration or braking – essentially the smoother the ride, the more fuel you’ll conserve. Everytime you see the revs shooting up, you’re opening up the fuel pipe and pumping more into the engine.
Step 3: Split your petrol costs with others
No-one is in a position where they’ve found a secret petrol station that is half the price of others, or has an unlimited supply of fuel in their back garden (unless they’re doing something illegal!). Everyone faces the same issues, the same high petrol costs and hates it just as much as you. Try embracing it with others, look at where you could do more liftshares, either for the school run or to work. By sharing with just one other, you could cut your fuel petrol costs in half and if there’s 3 others, you’ll take 75% off the costs. Out of all of the measures you can take, this is the one that will reap the biggest savings and is the step that you’ll notice most on your bank balance.
If you already do a few liftshares but don’t know how to take this to the next level, checkout sites like Liftshare.com, CarPooling.co.uk and GoCarShare.com. All are completely free to register with and will allow you to find other people willing to share, whether it’s giving you a lift, or them needing a lift themselves. As well as being able to do this for standard daily journeys, many now offer shares for larger roadtrips, which are perfect if you need to head off and see the family hundreds of miles away, but can’t face the huge petrol bill.