Unless you’ve been living under a bio-fuel powered rock recently, you’ll have noticed that the price of petrol has become a little eyewatering of late.
It’s a good time to take up walking and cycling, and start using public transport as far as possible (bonus: it’s better for the environment and your health) but if you absolutely must take the car, here are a couple of tips to help you save money at the pump. All the following numbers are based on a 65-litre tank.
Cheap petrol finder apps
If you’re a regular driver, you should have a whole folder on your phone of apps that track the prices at pumps nearest you. The best app will depend on which state you’re in. Choice recommends: Petrol Spy in the ACT; the government-run NSW FuelCheck site, Petrol Spy, My NRMA, Pumped Fuel, Fuel Map Australia and Vroom Fuel Price Compare in NSW; Petrol Spy and Fuel Map Australia in Queensland; and GasBuddy and Petrol Spy in Victoria. You could save yourself $17 on a tank of gas – which will make a big difference on your next road trip.
Another app you should have in your folder? The Ampol app. This app, which allows you to make contactless payments from your phone, offers you 6 cents per litre on your first three fills – a saving of $3.90 a tank. Refer a friend and you’ll get another fill at the same discount. You can also link your Everyday Rewards card and collect points on every fill (plus any rewards points if you pay by credit card). The app also offers ongoing in-app offers and savings, as well as a site locator.
Yet another one – the 7-Eleven app. This one allows you to “lock in” lower fuel prices for seven days. Just select your fuel type and the app will scan the five closest 7-Eleven Fuel stores with your preferred fuel type within 250kms of your current location. Pick the lowest price to lock in for seven days to use on your next fill of up to 150 litres at any 7-Eleven in Australia – call it $6.50 saving per tank. If you get to the bowser and the price is lower, you’ll pay the lower price so it’s a good way to hedge your bets.
If you do your grocery shopping at Woollies, keep hold of your receipt ($30+) to save 4c per litre at Caltex or EG Australia. Spend $5 instore at participating fuel outlets (stock up on toilet paper or other essentials) to stack another 4c per litre on top for a total 8c per litre or $5.20 per tank saving. Plus, scan your Everyday Rewards card to earn points that you can put towards petrol at a later date.
Same deal at Coles. Spend $30 on your normal grocery shop and receive a fuel docket that entitles you to 4c per litre off at Coles Express. Plus, spend $20 instore at the fuel outlet for 10c per litre off on top of the 4c you got with your docket – another $5.20 saving.
OK, your app folder is getting pretty full at this point, but consider downloading the Carsales app. Create an account to receive an initial 8c off per litre and then an ongoing 4c per litre off every time you fill up at Shell Coles Express. Stack this discount with other 4c Coles discounts for $5.20 off.
Members enjoy fuel discounts of 5c per litre on Premium fuel and 3c per litre on regular fuel at participating Caltex and Ampol locations. This is available every time you fill up, with no need to spend anything in store. Just download the app and show your QR code at the checkout to save up to $3.20 a tank.
There are plenty of other offers like this out there too. For example, RACQ and Free2Go members save 4 cents per litre on fuel at participating Puma Energy and Choice petrol stations Australia wide, no purchase necessary. And RAA members save 4 cents per litre on fuel at Caltex Woolworths and EG fuel and convenience store locations in South Australia. Both will save you $2.60 a tank.
CommBank customers have the option of personalised shopping rewards that you can activate in the app and claim as cashback when you buy with your eligible CommBank card. I can’t find it explicitly on the website, but I’ve heard a rumour that one of the rewards is 10 per cent cashback when you spend at selected Ampol service stations – about $13.
If you drive a Toyota, download the myToyota app to get discounts of at least 4c per litre ($2.60 a tank) at Caltex. They sometimes offer bonus offers as well; I spotted an older page offering 12c per litre off.
If you’re a Costco member, you can take advantage of their consistently lower petrol prices. However, they’re few and far between so, unless you live or work near an outlet, it’s likely not worth buying a membership for this reason alone.
If you have a Linkt account you can access a 4c per litre discount at Coles Express – stackable with various other discounts there. Just download the app and show your code when you purchase for $2.60+ a tank off.
You’ll get better fuel efficiency if your car is well maintained. Check frequently to be sure you have adequate air in your tyres. Cose your windows on the highway and take off unused roof racks to reduce drag. Take heavier stuff out of your car and consider only filling up halfway each time to redue weight. Take driving tips from Grandma and try to avoid speeding up and slowing down often – coasting uses way less petrol.
Share your tips for saving money on petrol – with prices the way they are, every little helps! Until next time, stay savvy, shoppers.