Hey everyone. I know I am fed up of the stupid prices of petrol. So heres a few ways to save some money/fuel. I got this by email but I think the original is from MSE so thank you to whoever produced it:
Cheap Petrol & Diesel
It's possible to make big improvements by making minor tweaks to your vehicle. It's estimated that someone who averages 35 miles per gallon (in old money) could get 40 mpg by driving better, a near 15% saving. Thanks to the RAC for help with the efficiency improvement data.
Keep your tyres correctly inflated. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 3%
Lower tyre pressure increases the drag on a car meaning you need more fuel, so regularly check the pressures are correct and your car needs less oomph to keep it moving.
Declutter your car. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 2%
The lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to make to accelerate. Therefore, by decluttering, clearing out junk from the boot, and not carrying unnecessary weight, you can make extra savings.
Take your roof rack off. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 2%
A roof rack, even unused, adds massive wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and making the engine work harder. So if you don't need it, take it and anything else that's inefficient off. Even closing the windows'll make the car run slightly more efficiently.
Turn off the air con. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 8% Air conditioning also uses an incredible amount of fuel, so make sure it's turned off unless you really need it. The exact savings depend on the type you've got, manual air conditioning is the worst, but even climate control can use up to 4% of fuel. Also, dont keep the engine running; drive off as soon as you start up and switch off the engine as soon as you reach your destination.
Don't fill it up. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 1%
Fuel is heavy, so by filling the car up you're adding quite a weight. The less fuel your car has in it, the more efficiently it drives. Thus filling up slightly more often and putting less in (to 1/2 or 3/4 full) will make the car run more efficiently.
There's an easy way to find the cheapest forecourt in your area for petrol, diesel and LPG (plus more). Go to the free website Petrolprices.com, register, enter your postcode & tell it how far youre willing to travel (2, 5, 10 or 20 miles) and itll list todays cheapest petrol stations in your area for unleaded, diesel, LPG and other fuels. A quick check before you need to fill up should be enough to save you serious cash.
In May 08, for a sample postcode the average price within a 10 mile radius was £1.11, the highest price was £1.17p and the cheapest price £1.07p; this type of variance is typical regardless of the price. While the difference is only pennies, in percentage terms that means 5% cost cutting is possible, so for someone who fills up £50 a week it's a reduction of well over £100 a year.
Where does its info come from?
Other filling up tips.
There are other ways to cut the cost too:
Always fill up at least fifty miles before your tank's dry.
This way theres no panic and youve enough time to get to a cheaper petrol station. Leave it longer and youll fill up at the next one I see, and that means you're not focused on the fuel price. Of course this is slightly offset by the fact that a lighter car uses less fuel, but with 50 miles of fuel left, the difference is miniscule.
Only use better fuel if your car can cope.
Many stations sell high performance fuels, yet theres little or no performance difference for most non-performance cars; so only fill up with the super-fuels if you've a sports car that you've been specifically advised will actually utilise the petrol correctly.
Fill up at night, but dont overfill.
This is a slight urban myth, as the differences are miniscule, pennies at best. Petrol pumps are calibrated by volume, so fill up at night when its cold and you get a tiny tiny extra bit.
Don't try and put more in after the clunk.
While filling up to full isn't great as it adds weight to the car (see make your car more efficient), yet if you must, don't keep going after the petrol nozzle 'clunks', because you're overfilling.
Buying fuel is the biggest single regular expenditure that most people make by plastic or cash. This means that there are opportunities to increase the saving by the way it's paid for.
Pay with a cashback/fuel credit card.
Credit card reward schemes pay you back each time you spend on the card; so set up a Direct Debit to pay it off in full, so there's no interest charge, and you gain. Each time you spend on a cashback you can get up to 5% of your outlay back, which quickly adds up. Currently Amex Platinum* pays 5% for the first three months followed by tiered rates up to 1.5%, see the Best Cashback Cards guide for more info.
For those who buy petrol at Asda, the ASDA credit card* gives 2p off every litre bought at an ASDA forecourt, and since these tend to be competitive anyway this works out to be a good saving. There's also a Shell* scheme, where it rewards you in cashback off Shell fuel purchases, it gives 3% on Shell fuel purchases and 1% on all other spending. If you consistently use Shell stations this is also a good long-term card.
Grab supermarket petrol promotions.
Supermarkets commonly do petrol promotions, and as they're usually cheap for fuel anyway, utilising these schemes means you can save. Usually these take the form of "spend £20 and get 5p off voucher" deals. If this is the case, do ensure if you're spending more e.g. £60, that you pay for your shopping in three tranches to get three vouchers. The best of these promotions are always included in the free weekly MoneySaving e-mail.
Use loyalty schemes.
Buying petrol is a regular outlay, and you spend more on it in a year than you think (e.g £30 a week is £1,500 a year!). As many petrol stations (including the supermarket ones) run some form of loyalty scheme, it's worth signing up for the schemes for the forecourts you'll use most regularly to get a little bit extra back.
However, never choose a petrol station just for its loyalty scheme, as the difference is small compared to petrol price variance (also see the Increase Your Loyalty Stash article).