You don’t need us to tell you that the price of petrol is way too high, but you might need our help in saving money on your fuel bill.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, petrol prices in Melbourne have gone from under $1.70 per litre at the beginning of September and are running at over $1.75 this week.

If you think that is bad, they peaked at almost $1.95 in the middle of October.

There are ways to save on fuel and make sure you get the best mileage you can for the money you spend, and here are some ideas.

  • Go online for the best prices. There are a number of apps and websites out there which tell you where to get the cheapest fuel, at outlets near you. There are State Government funded apps, such as FuelWatch in WA and MyFuel NT in the NT, and the NSW and Tasmanian Governments also have their own versions. There are third party apps, which were recently road tested by consumer advocacy group Choice. The ones they liked best were PetrolSpy, MotorMouth and Simples: Compare
  • Use your receipts or reward cards from shopping at the big grocers and you will likely shave a few cents off per litre. Coles links with Shell and Woolworths with Caltex. If you are filling up 50 litres and you can save 2 cents per litre, it’s a dollar saved. Do that a couple of times a month and you’ve got enough for a coffee.
  • Fill up in the early morning or evening. It sounds crazy, but the combustible component in petrol expands and contracts depending on the temperature. So if you buy in the morning or evening you get more of this combustible stuff, which burns better and increases your driving range.
  • Take out all that junk from your car. Some people use their car as an extension of their wardrobe or garage, but this stuff just adds to the weight the vehicle needs to lug around. A lighter vehicle uses less fuel.
  • Make sure your tyres are pumped up. If you drive on flat tyres, the car labours and needs more petrol. You don’t want tyre pressure too high, but most tyres like to be between 30 and 34 psi. You can set the pressure on most air pumps.

A single one of these ideas might not save much, but if you do a few or all of them you might be streets ahead. Happy, safe and cheaper driving!

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