Oil prices have surged recently, and the off-shoot of this is more pain for British drivers. Unleaded petrol prices are now around 132p per litre, while diesel is standing at 138p. Drivers are hoping that Chancellor George Osborne will offer some respite in his forthcoming Budget next week – but in the meanwhile, Which? Money gives you some top tips to save some cash on fuel.
1. Ditch your car for a car club
It may seem extreme, but getting rid of your car and joining a car club could save you hundreds of pounds. Recent research from Which? Money shows that you could save £800 a year by joining a car club like Zipcar, Streetcar or City Car Club. Find out more in our guide to car hire and car clubs.
2. Shop around for cheap petrol
Brits are now well versed in shopping around for the best deals, be it savings accounts or car insurance. But it pays to shop around for cheap petrol prices too – you could find a petrol station selling fuel at 20p per litre less than you would pay elsewhere. Go to www.petrolprices.com to find the best petrol prices near you.
3. Stick to your allegiances
Loyalty schemes can help you push down the cost of driving. Tesco, for example, gives you 5p off per litre of fuel every time you spend £50 in store, while the Shell Drivers’ Club Card will give you points per litre of petrol you buy, sending discount vouchers for fuel when you reach different thresholds.
4. Make the most of cashback
Using a credit card that offers cashback can help ease the pain of rising petrol prices. MBNA have recently launched two new credit cards – an American Express card that offers 1.5% cashback at most petrol stations, and a new Visa card that offers 1.25% cashback. Find out more in our guide to cashback credit cards and other perks.
5. Get pumped up
It can really pay to keep your tyres pumped up to save on fuel – US President Barak Obama has been a strong proponent of this. The wrong tyre pressure creates rolling resistance, meaning that your car burns more fuel when you’re driving. If you get it right and keep your tyre pressure consistent, it’s estimated that you could improve fuel efficiency by 10%.
6. Consider a conversion
This takes a bit of speculation, but converting your car so that it runs on Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LPG, can save you a fortune. The average cost per litre of LPG is 77p – 41% lower than the current unleaded price. It costs around £800 to £1,000 to convert your car to LPG.
7. Cut your speed (and avoid staying cool)
Did you know that if you cut your speed down from 70mph to 50mph, you reduce your fuel consumption by 15%? Cutting down your speed can go a long way to conserving your petrol, while deciding to leave the air con off and keeping the windows closed also stops your engine from guzzling fuel.
Budget 2011 Live Blog
The 2011 Budget on 23 March is set to have a profound effect on the British economy – but the measures announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will also influence your individual finances.
Follow the Budget as it happens by taking part in our Live Blog, and get expert, on-the-spot analysis of the Chancellor’s announcements.
Which? Money editor James Daley will be joined by Which? finance experts reporting on the Chancellor’s budget speech as it’s made, plus answering your questions on what the measures he has planned might mean for you.
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