Saving money on petrol tips and techniques

15 Jan 10 / Posted by: Jessica

There’s only one way that the price of petrol is going these days and that’s up. The high demand for the precious dwindling resource and the Government are to blame (around 60 cents of what we pay for every litre is currently chewed up by tax) but there are still a few things you can do to reduce the amount of money you pour into petrol each week.

Save up your grocery receipts

Yep, they do clutter up your wallet but those little pieces of paper you get when you spend more than $40 at some supermarkets also make a difference of 4 cents a litre at the pump. Even better, keep an eye out for the discounts of 15 – 20 cents a litre that the grocery chains occasionally offer with larger purchases. Just remember to use these vouchers quickly as they expire a month from the receipt date.

Swipe your rewards cards

When you do purchase petrol ensure the money you hand over works as hard as possible for you. Swipe your AA or other rewards card where you can, but watch out for the new surcharge that some retailers have started adding when you pay by credit card.

Buy a more fuel-efficient car

Look for the new label that works a bit like the Energy Star system for appliances or check out www.fuelsaver.govt.nz for an indication of how much of a guzzler that gorgeous new toy is likely to be before you splurge on it.

Turn off the air-conditioning

I always thought this one was a myth but even the AA reckons it can reduce your fuel use by up to 10%. (On the other hand – turning off your engine and coasting down hills to save fuel is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous!)

Ease off the accelerator

Opting for a cruising speed of around 90 km/hour on the open road will save on fuel, speeding tickets – and quite possibly also your life. The opposite is also true; if you find yourself stuck in traffic and idling for more than 30 seconds, it’s most fuel-efficient to switch your engine off.

Lose some weight

Clear the pram and golf clubs out of the boot when you don’t need them and ditch the roof racks – every unnecessary 50kg you’re carting around increases your fuel consumption by up to 10%.

Keep your car in good shape

The correct tyre pressure, wheel alignment and regular servicing will make a real difference to your fuel consumption and costs. And the environment will love you for it.

Know your octane ratings

You’ll pay up to ten cents more for higher octane fuel – check your car’s manual to see if you really need it, but don’t scrimp if you do or you could end up paying for some very expensive engine damage.

What are your petrol saving tips?

Share you tips to save money on petrol below!

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