Last week, we heard the good news that several of the major UK supermarkets had cut the price of their fuel by up to 2p a litre, so to keep the savings coming, Woman’s Own Money Expert Andrea Ventress gives her top 10 tips on cutting the cost of filling up your car even further.
1. Find the cheapest fuel near you Don’t pay more for your fuel than you have to. Before you fill up, check your postcode on petrolprices.com. This fantastic website will list your closest five petrol stations and the cost of fuel at each. If you sign up to its email service, you can also receive regular updates on local fuel prices.
2. Use supermarket fuel deals Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have all cut the cost of their fuel in the past two weeks, but some supermarkets go even further. Morrisons’ Fuel Saver Deal gives 1p per litre off fuel for every £10 of gift cards bought in-store for the likes of Homebase, Debenhams, Next and House of Fraser.
3. Declutter your car Try taking off roof boxes or removing heavy items from the boot of your car if they’re not needed. This will reduce your car’s wind resistance and so cut fuel costs.
4. Keep cool naturally Air conditioning uses extra fuel, so wherever possible wind the window down instead.
5. Pump ‘em up! Keep your tyres pumped up as under-inflated tyres will create more resistance, meaning you use up more fuel.
6. Only half fill your tank If you fill your car’s fuel tank up to the top, that’s a huge weight you’re adding to the car and more weight means more resistance, so the more fuel you’ll burn. Filling up slightly more often but putting less in will make the car run more efficiently.
7. Drive smoothly and sensibly Dramatic driving such as fierce acceleration and excessive braking burns a lot of extra fuel, so try to drive in a less frantic way and try to stay under 3,000 revs. If you can and it’s safe to do so, also let your car slow naturally – you could improve your fuel efficiency by up to 30%!
8. Car share If you don’t know anyone near you to share the drive to work or the school run with, then check out a few of these websites that help you find others travelling the same way as you either on a one-off or a regular basis. Try CarShare.com, LiftShare.com or Carpooling.com.
9. Don’t pay for premium fuels According to the experts at AA, most high performance fuels are too expensive to be used regularly, and they claim the fuel makes little or no performance difference for most non-sports cars – so stick to the normal fuels.
10. Pay with a cashback credit card Provided that you always pay the balance off in full every month, you could be quids in if you pay for your fuel with a cashback credit card. The Santander 123 Cashback credit card, for example, gives you 3% cashback on fuel and transport (up to £300 a month), so that’s an extra £2.70 in your pocket for every £90 tank of fuel.
Andrea Ventress, Money Expert
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