Petrol price hikes trigger supermarket price war
Petrol prices hit an all-time this high week but several supermarkets have responded by cutting their petrol prices. Which ones? And how can you fight back against the hikes?
It was bad news for UK drivers this week when the average price of petrol hit a record high of 121.61 per litre. The wholesale price of petrol has fallen, but none of us are feeling the benefit of those cuts at the pumps.
But there is some good news: all week, supermarkets have been slashing their prices. Asda kicked off the price war, slashing its petrol prices by 2p per litre earlier this week, with Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s then all following Asda’s lead and cutting petrol prices by the same amount.
Today, Morrisons announced further cuts, reducing the cost of its petrol and diesel by a further two pence today, and Asda immediately followed suit, announcing similar cuts from tomorrow.
But while the supermarkets may be fighting each other hard to offer drivers the cheapest fuel, that doesn’t change the fact that filling up your car still costs a small fortune.
Related how-to guide
Fuel-saving tips and cheaper car running advice to help you save money on your motoring, and beat the petrol price hikes.See the guide
Cash in on petrol promotions and loyalty points
As well as slashing petrol prices this week, the supermarkets are also a great place to look for petrol promotions, so don’t forget to keep an eye out for the latest special offers. You’ll often see deals where you can save money off petrol when you spend a certain minimum amount in store.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s, for example, offer regular ‘5p per litre off when you spend £50’ type promotions. And given that the supermarkets are already offering keenly priced fuel, they should be pretty competitive.
You can also make money with your petrol spend by collecting loyalty points. With, the Morrisons Miles Card , for example, you earn 15 Morrisons Miles on every litre of fuel you buy. Once you’ve collected 4,995 miles - a total purchase of 333 litres - you’ll get a £5 shopping voucher to spend in store.
If you generally buy fuel at Tesco or Sainsbury’s, you can earn similar rewards with your Tesco Clubcard or your Nectar Card. But it’s not only supermarkets which offer loyalty schemes. The Shell Driver’s Club Card, for example, also allows you to earn points every time you fill up.
Use your iphone
iPhone applications which help you save money on petrol are popping up all over the place. The AA offers the Fuel Prices UK app which enables you to find unlimited, up-to-date petrol prices across the UK.
The app works by identifying your location, checking the ten closest fuel stations and ranking the cheapest five. The results are colour coded with green being the cheapest and red the most expensive. Even better, once you’ve chosen the petrol station you want to use, the app will provide directions to get you there.
Rachel Robson takes a look at which car brands come out best in terms of value for money.
The only drawback is the app costs £4.99 a year from the iTunes store.
For a cheaper version you could try PetrolPrices Pro, from popular money-saving website, PetrolPrices.com which costs £2.99. Once this again this app can find the best and most up-to-date petrol prices no matter where your current location is.
Finally, the KeepMoving iPhone app won’t help you find cheap petrol, but it will give you advance warning of traffic delays and incidents which could affect your journey. But the best bit is it’s completely free.
Use Sat Nav
Whenever you drive to a destination you’ve never been to before plan your route accurately with satellite navigation. Not only will this help you find the shortest journey, but you’ll avoid getting lost and wasting fuel driving round in circles. Research suggests drivers with Sat Nav use around 12% less fuel.
If you don’t already have Sat Nav, and you don’t fancy shelling out for it, then check a route planner at home first. Websites like Multimap and the AA are both great choices for helping you find the quickest way to your chosen destination.
Join a car sharing website
Car sharing isn’t a new idea, but how many people do you actually already know who just happen to be going the same way you are? Luckily, sites like LiftShare and National CarShare have taken all the hard work out of it by matching people with similar journeys.
Both sites are completely free to use and allow you to post details of your particular journey to help you find someone to car share with quickly and easily. You can also find people to share taxi journeys too. Check out this Cost Calculator from LiftShare to help you work out how much money you could save by sharing with one or more people.
So, not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll cut your petrol and parking costs too.
Keep a fuel diary and set aside a petrol budget
Finally, in the same way a spending diary helps you to budget, a fuel diary can help you to become much more aware of how much you’re spending on petrol.
All you need to do is get into the habit of recording all your fuel purchases, and the mileage you cover in between filling up. Once you’ve seen how much your fuel spend is draining your income, you’ll be keen to make cutbacks.
You should also set a petrol budget where you only allow yourself to spend up to a set amount on fuel each week or month. This will encourage you to avoid unnecessary journeys, and make the most of each tank of petrol. But make sure your budget is realistic, though, or you could end up doing a lot of walking!