It’s been a difficult few months for fuel prices, with the cost of filling up at the pump remaining at near-record highs for both petrol and diesel.
While there’s not a lot that you can do about this beyond shopping around for the cheapest garage near you, you can still save money by making the most of a fuel loyalty scheme
Here's a round-up of the best schemes out there, along with the different perks you can enjoy.
Branded fuel schemes
First, we’ll run through the best branded fuel schemes from BP, Shell and Texaco.
Customers used to be able to collect Nectar points when topping up at BP petrol stations, but now the company has its own fuel reward scheme, BPme.
You need to download the app or register for a card to be a member, and then you'll receive one point per litre of fuel you buy, and two points for every litre from the Ultimate range.
From time to time, BP will offer double or even triple points when you buy fuel.
On top of that, you’ll be able to earn points when you pop to the shop or get a car wash, with each getting you one point per pound spent.
Points are worth 0.5p, so once you've racked up 200 points you'll be able to claim £1 off of your fuel or shop purchases.
Or you can save up your points to get items from the BP rewards catalogue, or trade them in for gift vouchers from selected partners, like Marks & Spencer or Amazon.
The points you build up expire after two years of inactivity on your account, so make sure you keep using the card in order to build up your rewards.
When you register your BPme card, you'll get a bonus 500 points (value £2.50) to help get you started.
Texaco’s Star Rewards works in a similar way to the BP scheme except each point is worth 1p.
You’ll earn one point for every litre of unleaded or diesel fuel you purchase.
Once you've reached 500 points, you can choose from a range of £5 vouchers via love2shop for the likes of M&S and Argos.
Alternatively, you can get a £5 Texaco voucher or choose to give your reward as a charitable donation to Action for Children, which Texaco will double.
As a new member, you'll receive 200 bonus points for registering and downloading the app.
If Shell is your go-to garage for filling up, it’s worth registering for Shell Go+. You can order a card and key fob online or download the app to access the benefits straight away.
You’ll get a fuel reward every tenth visit, which Shell counts as anytime that you spend at least £10 on fuel or £2 in the shop.
There are also several discounts available to Shell Go+ members, including 10% off some of its food ranges and hot drinks, as well as Shell lubricants and car washes.
If you prefer to fill up on Shell V Power, you’ll get a £3 reward for every 300 litres that you purchase.
Slash your fuel bill with these savvy motoring tips
Supermarkets are popular places to fill up tanks and with good reason.
They're typically cheaper than branded fuel stations, convenient and offer some great reward schemes, as we've outlined below.
The cheapest supermarket home deliveries
Nectar is one of the biggest supermarket loyalty schemes, which allows you to earn points in store, online and at Sainsbury's forecourts.
You’ll earn one Nectar point for every litre of fuel you purchase at a Sainsbury’s petrol station and for every £1 you spend in a Sainsbury’s store.
Esso has teamed up with Sainsbury's to create Esso Nectar, where you collect points any time you fill up at a participating service station.
As with Sainsbury's own petrol stations, you'll get one Nectar point for every litre of fuel bought, plus two Nectar points for every £1 spent in Esso shops and on the car wash.
Any Nectar points you earn, whether through buying fuel or through racking them up elsewhere, can be spent on fuel at Sainsbury’s or Esso. With the latter, you can cut the cost of the fuel by 5p per litre by using 300 points.
If you fill up at a Tesco petrol station, you’ll earn one point for every £2 spent. You’ll receive £1.50 worth of vouchers for every 150 points you collect.
These can be spent in store, online, at petrol stations or on other rewards such as cinema tickets and days out. You can find the full list on the Tesco Clubcard website.
Tesco also has a partnership with Esso, allowing you to collect Clubcard points if that’s where you prefer to shop. You can only claim Clubcard points at Esso petrol stations that have a Tesco Express shop.
You’ll collect one Clubcard point for every £3 spent on fuel.
Points can be spent on fuel, so make sure you have a look at our guide on how to boost the amount of Clubcard points you collect to get the most out of your card.
Credit cards can be a handy way to get cashback or even boost your Nectar or Clubcard points and save even more on fuel.
Sainsbury’s has a number of credit cards on offer, including the 30-month 0% balance transfer card.
All of Sainsbury’s cards offer two Nectar points for every £1 you spend on fuel and one point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
A host of its cards allow you to get hold of bonus points based on your spending in the first few months with the card.
For example, with the Nectar credit card, you get 8,000 bonus points so long as you spend at least £400 in the first two months with the card at Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat or Tu Clothing.
But before you apply for any credit card, make sure you're aware of any fees.
If you pay using a Tesco credit card like the Tesco Bank Purchases card, you can collect one Clubcard point for every £2 spent on fuel at Tesco.
On top of that, you can also collect one Clubcard for every £8 spent elsewhere.
Of course, you should make sure any credit card is right for your needs – the Purchase card may not be for everyone as it is designed to help those who want to spread the payments on their spending.
NatWest/RBS Reward Credit Card
Getting a NatWest/RBS Reward Credit Card will get you 0.25% cashback at supermarket petrol stations (and 1% on supermarket spend).
The card comes with a £24 annual fee although this will be refunded if you also have a Reward current account.
For more information on credit cards, check out loveMONEY’s guide to the best rewards cards.
Also, have a look at our tips for finding the cheapest petrol and diesel to make sure you're not paying over the odds.