How to Save Money on Petrol
Believe it or not, the price of fuel is slowly climbing – even during this economic downturn! It’s probably a good time to save money on petrol as some service station prices have jumped by as much as 20%! You could start to compare fuel prices from different sources but first you’ll need to get to grips with a few other ideas.
A little while back, we ran a small article on the cheapest petrol price where we recommended filling up on a Friday. This time we’re going to look at few more ideas.
The reason petrol prices are climbing is simple: demand and supply. There is still a high demand for crude oil yet some of the largest suppliers have been reducing output to maintain their profits.
Ten tips to save money on petrol
Before you rush out to scrap your 4×4 and buy an ultra-ecomonical car, take a look at some of the simple ideas you can use to cut down on the price of filling up your car.
How much fuel does your car use?
Do you know? Here’s a simple guide to calculate your fuel consumption:
- Fill up your car – right to brim (but mind your shoes!)
- Next, reset your trip to 0.
- Drive your car until it’s on empty and then refill
- Calculate the cost per mile by dividing your trip reading by the price you originally paid to fill up the vehicle
A point to note here; diesel fuel foams when you to fill up you tank so give it a little time to settle then carry on filling until you’re sure the tank is full. This method will give you a real indication of how much furl your car uses which is far more accurate than the figures supplied by manufacturers.
Chip, glorious chips!
It’s a well known fact that many, for many years, some people have been running their diesel vehicle on chip fat. Ok, we’re not telling you to syphon off the fat from the local chippy – it’s never simple, is it? – as you’ll still need diesel to get the engine up to peak operating temperature before you switch over to vegetable oil. This means you’ll need two fuel tanks and the ability to switch over fuel sources. Environmentally, this is a great idea but it’s not recommended for new cars as you may invalidate your warranty. Owners of older diesel powered vehicles may think it’s worth the risk especially when costs as little as 80p per litre.
Another option for the environmetnally minded is to convert your vegetable oil into biodiesel. This works by mixing heated vegetable oil with other chemicals. The end product is then filtered off to create fuel. If you’re thinking of buying a home fuel production kit, prices start at around £1,200 and can produce 40 litres of fuel a day. The beauty of making your own biodiesel is…there’s no tax levied against it. Alternatively, you could simply search for your nearest biodiesel station here: www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk.
Make sure you do your research and see how much it will cost to repair your car IF something does go wroing. The potential repair bill may outweigh the benefits.
Convert to gas
The government used to give out cash incentives to encourage motorists to convert their cars to run on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) but that has all changed. Even so, converting your vehicle to run on gas is an amazingly cheap option – working out to about half the price of unleaded fuel (even with a mild reduction of 10% in your fuel economy).
There will be some loss of power, but this should be no more than 5% and should not be noticeable in day-to-day driving. Prices for an LPG conversion range from about £1,300 to £2,000 and the work takes about a week. There are a lot of companies that specialise in gas conversions so take your time and get referrals. TfL has a list of approved conversion companies here: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk.
By driving at a slower speed you could cut your fuel costs by up to £500 per year (figures supplied by The What Car? magazine based on five cars ranging from a 1 litre Toyota Aygo to a 2.2 litre Land Rover, found the most fuel-efficient speed was below 40mph, and as low as 20mph for two of the cars).
On average, a car will consume 38% more fuel at 70mph than travelling the same at 50mph. At 60mph, this drops to 34% more than at 40mph. Now, if you feel the need for speed consider this: an average-size car travelling at 90mph will drink around £1.20 more on fuel every eight minutes than a vehicle doing 70mph.
Compare fuel prices
One of the simplest options many of us are using is to compare fuel prices. Websites such as PetrolPrices.com will find the lowest fuel prices based on a postcode search so, if you’re not up for some of the more drastic ways to save money on petrol shown above, head on over and compare fuel prices.