It feels like cheap fuel prices are a thing of the past and your car’s fuel consumption is at its peak… making you dread the next trip to the servo.
If this sounds like your mindset, don’t worry – the Sparesbox team can help with these 6 handy tips to increase your fuel economy and find the cheapest fuel prices.
#1 Stop using your car as a storage unit
Not using your roof racks for your kayak now its winter? Have you been avoiding those boxes in your boot for the past few weeks? It’s time to think of your fuel economy and relocate them to the garage! The heavier your car is, the more fuel it takes to drive it… something even the cheapest fuel prices can’t fix. You wouldn’t want to tow an empty trailer around, so have the same mindset about your car contents and see your fuel consumption drop – plus your car will feel super spacious
#2 Service on the reg (every 6 months or 1000kms)
Not only is a regular car service important for safety and performance, but it’s a great way to reduce your fuel consumption that drivers don’t often consider, instead just focussing on finding the cheapest fuel prices. An under-serviced engine and dirty air filter can chew up your petrol, bumping up your usage by 10% or more! Remember to change the oil in your car regularly, too, as this decreases friction – not only great for engine life, but for fuel economy.
#3 Pump up those tyres!
Up to 50% of tyres on the road are under-inflated, meaning 50% of drivers could be lowering fuel consumption just by checking them every fortnight. Your tyres’ resistance increases the lower their pressure is, using more fuel to turn. To increase fuel economy and drop 2% off your fuel bill, you can use the air pump for your tyres at any service station – getting the cheapest fuel prices will be in vain if you don’t pump up those tyres! Look at your car’s manual or online for the recommended pressure for your car.
#4 Easy on the throttle
With the cheapest fuel prices not coming around often enough, this is probably the most obvious solution to lowering fuel consumption. We all need a little reminder to slow down from time to time – especially in city peak-hour traffic! For fuel economy, remember to anticipate the actions of the car/s in front of you; driving quickly between stop lights and then breaking often and suddenly uses up fuel quickly. Plus, no one wants to be that person rear ending someone on the morning commute. Take it easy, chill out with a good playlist or Car Podcasts and let the traffic sort itself out.
#5 Make fewer trips
Condensing your daily errands into one trip can decrease your fuel consumption and help with fuel economy, so you don’t just rely on finding the cheapest fuel prices! It can take up to 8kms for your car to run at its most fuel-efficient, so a few short trips a day can drain your fuel more than you’d like to think. This is especially important in these chilly winter months, as cars love chewing up fuel when they’re cold!
When are where to fill up!
#1 When to buy?
For Aussies, the ACCC is the go-to resource for up-to-date fuel price tracking. It lets you know if you should buy fuel right now or wait (if you can), which can get you the lowest fuel bill possible when paired with our fuel economy tactics. It’s most useful if you live in or around a capital city, as regional prices tend to be more stable and turnover can depend on the population. Another handy hint for the cheapest fuel prices is to buy your fuel at dawn, dusk, or night, when it’s at its densest – you’ll get a bit more for your money as fuel expands in hot weather and contracts in cold weather.
#2 Where to buy?
There are free apps and websites – such as Petrol Spy for Aussies and Gaspy for Kiwis – that have live petrol prices to help you get the cheapest fuel prices nearby and increase your fuel economy.
Gone are the days of filling up and then kicking yourself when you drive past a servo with fuel 15c cheaper than you just paid minutes earlier. Also, fuel tends to be more expensive as you get out of capital cities and into regional Australia. If you’re planning a road trip, fully fill up before you head off, so you get a full tank of fuel at the cheapest price possible (and while you’re at the service station remember to pump up those tyres!).
Now that you have the tricks of the trade when it comes to finding the cheapest fuel prices and lowering your fuel consumption, you will start to see positive changes in your car’s fuel economy – and hopefully filling up your tank won’t seem like such a chore!