Since the fuel excise ended on September 29, petrol prices are now as much as 22.5 cents more per litre.
Compare the Market suggests shopping around for your fuel. It may be cheaper just one suburb – or even street – over.
That said, if you are going to travel further for your fuel, check to see that the savings are truly worth it.
It’s also wise to compare smaller petrol stations with the larger brands.
For example, in the suburb of Marrickville, there are five petrol stations. The independent retailer is currently charging $1.75* per litre for Ethanol 94/Unleaded 91 according to Fuel Check. Three of the others are Metro Petroleum franchises, ranging from $1.80 to $1.88 per litre, one of them is an Ampol station, which is selling petrol at $1.94.
Comparing the most expensive to the cheapest, filling up a 50-litre tank at the cheaper petrol station a few streets over can save you $9.50.
10 more tips to save on your petrol costs
1. Maximise your car’s fuel efficiency. The best way to do this is by ensuring that your tyres are inflated to the right pressure level. When the pressure is low, it increases the drag on the car and that leads to greater fuel consumption, which given the cost, increases your bill dramatically. NRMA recommends checking your tyre pressure weekly or fortnightly.
2. Clear and tidy your car. Aside from your car being a nicer place when it’s tidy, if the clutter is removed it won’t need as much fuel when you accelerate. On average, every 50 kilos in your car increases your fuel consumption to up to two per cent. And if you’re using your car for storage, this can add up easily.
3. Remove the roof rack. While a roof rack will not damage your vehicle, it will add wind resistance, making your engine work harder and therefore burning more fuel. A roof rack can add up to ten per cent to your fuel bill so unless you are using it, remove it.
4. Turn off your car accessories when you don’t need them. That includes things like your radio and the air conditioning. ASFA Autocare says: “Every accessory in your car, including the radio, consumes power from the battery that uses your engine fuel. To save fuel, try using the accessory only when required. Sometimes there are questions about what is economical – using car AC or rolling down your windows. To bust the myth it is considered more economical to roll down your windows to the speed of around 55 miles (88.5kms), as using the AC at low engine speeds results in increased fuel consumption.”
5. Accelerate slowly. Positive Lending Solutions says that the harder you accelerate the more fuel you use. “Stepping on the accelerator speeds up your driving because more gas is fed into the engine. As you step on the gas pedal, the throttle valve opens up more to let more air in. The ECU then increases the fuel rate in anticipation of more air entering the engine.”
They advise people: “If you want to use less fuel, especially while driving around the city, step on your accelerator steadily. Instead of stomping on the pedal gradually speed up and drive at a smooth and even pace.”
6. Shop around for the cheapest fuel. There are several apps available to find cheap petrol near you. Try fuelcheck.nsw.gov.au is an online tool designed to provide real-time information about petrol prices at every station across NSW. You can also use petrolspy.com.au or Compare the Mark’s Simples app. You can also take advantage of any fuel offers between Ampol service stations and Woolowrths.
7. Carpool. Aside from having someone keeping you company on your way to work, you will save money on fuel. You can take turns to use different cars. In addition to saving on fuel you’ll also save on maintenance costs because you’ll be using your vehicle less.
8. Avoid idling. While there will be times you can’t avoid idling such as when you’re in traffic, there will be others when it’s best to just turn your engine off. It will use less fuel to restart it than to leave the engine running.
9. Brake slowly. Similar to accelerating, you should always brake slowly. Braking slowly puts less pressure on your engine and tyres, so in addition to using less fuel, your tyres will also last longer saving you the expense of replacing them.
10. Change gears early if you drive a manual car. YouTuber Engineering Explained recommends changing gears as early as possible to increase your fuel efficiency. Basically, you want to change gears when your vehicle is running at a lower RPM for maximum fuel efficiency.
*Prices are accurate as of the time of writing.
Updated: September 29, 2022