Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's are slashing fuel prices by 2p per litre. Here’s how to make sure you get the best price when filling up.
Supermarket price war
Tesco, Asda and Morrisons are cutting fuel prices by 2p a litre across the country from today (14 March).
Those filling up at Asda will pay no more than 114.7p per litre on petrol or 116.7p per litre on diesel at its 301 filling stations.
Tesco also confirmed it is cutting 2p a litre off the pump price at its 500 forecourts, with a spokesperson adding: “We know that low fuel prices are important to our customers so to provide a little extra help, we’re cutting the cost of petrol and diesel.”
Morrisons said it's cutting prices at all 333 filling stations to keep them "far below the UK average".
Sainsbury's has decided to follow suit at the eleventh hour and will match the 2p per litre price cut across its 305 forecourts by tomorrow (15 March).
A spokesperson said: “Over half our forecourts have already reduced the price of fuel by up to 2ppl and customers will see further reductions in our remaining forecourts tomorrow.”
Do your research before filling up
While the cuts are welcome, you still need to check you're getting a good deal before rushing to fill up.
That's because filling up at a supermarket forecourt no longer guarantees that you’ll get a better deal than at a dedicated fuel retailer, new research has found.
The AA analysed petrol and diesel prices over the last month and found that Jet was selling both petrol and diesel for less than Sainsbury’s.
It also found that the price difference between supermarkets and dedicated fuel retailers had fallen below 3p for the first time in more than a year.
“Driver confidence in supermarkets as the bastions of cheapest pump prices has been rocked over the past month,” the motoring organisation said in a release.
Its findings highlight the importance of doing your research before filling up.
To help make sure you keep costs to a minimum, we’ve put together this guide filled with brilliant tips.
Find the cheapest local petrol or diesel price
The price you pay at the pumps will vary depending on where you live.
According to the most recent figures from the AA, the average price of a litre of diesel is 121.2p in Northern Ireland, but in the South East of England this rises to 123.2p.
And these are just the average prices: there are far greater variations depending on which specific fuel station you choose to fill up.
So make sure you do your homework to find the cheapest station in your area.
You can do this easily enough by entering your postocde on PetrolPrices.com and comparing prices nearby.
Petrol station loyalty cards
Various petrol stations offer loyalty cards, which can help you save on the cost of filling up.
For example, Texaco operates the Star Rewards scheme. You get one point for every litre of petrol or diesel that you buy. Once you hit 500 points, you can turn that into a £5 voucher to use the next time you fill the car.
Alternately, you can convert those points into vouchers for retailers including Argos and Marks & Spencer.
Shell operates a similar scheme called Shell Drivers Club where you get one point for every litre of Fuel Save, regular fuel or Autogas LPG, or two points for every litre of V-Power Nitro+.
Further points can be earned when you spend in the service station, or if you get your car washed. You can then convert 500 points into a £2.50 voucher.
Pay with the right credit card
Using the right credit card to pay for your fuel is also an easy way to save cash.
The AA FuelSave credit card offers a whopping 4% cashback on your fuel spending, so long as you spend at least £500 during the month on the card. If you spend less than that, it drops to 2% cashback on your fuel spending.
So spending £200 a month on fuel with the card will earn you £8 cashback, over a year that means a saving of £96.
On top of that, you get free AA breakdown cover in your first year and a free MOT every year that you have the card.
You earn 0.5% cashback on all non-fuel spending too, though there is a £42 annual fee to be aware of.
Elsewhere, the ASDA Credit Card will give you 1% cashback on fuel purchased at ASDA (as well as on all ASDA shopping). Again, there's a £36 annual fee to be paid.
As always with cashback cards, only use them if you can pay off your debt in full each month, or the interest you rack up will far outweigh the benefits.
Improve your car's fuel efficiency!
The final way to ensure that you pay as little for your petrol and diesel every time you fill up is to make your fuel go further.
Here are some simple things that the motoring experts at WhatCar? recommend doing to improve your fuel efficiency.
Remove excess weight
Take those bulky items out if you don’t need them – if the baby is staying at home, so can their buggy!
Things like bike racks and roof boxes add extra wind resistance, so your car has to work harder. If you aren’t using them, take them off.
Look after your car
Get your car serviced regularly and pump up your tyres. Look after your car, and it will look after your bank balance.
Plan your journey
Work out your route before you head off. That way you won’t end up driving further than necessary, or get stuck in traffic.
Do you really need the air con on?
Unless you really need it, leave the air conditioning off. The same goes for all other electrical appliances in the car.
Be gentle with your gear changes and braking.
Some modern cars are fitted with engine stop-start technology. Making the most of that, by taking your foot off the clutch when you are stationary, will help you save fuel.
WhatCar? research suggests that driving at 80mph uses up to 25% more fuel than going at 70mph.
More money-saving tips for motorists: