Fuel Expenses and Household Budgets

Fuel expenses include money spent on petrol, diesel and other fuel oils. As per the Office of National Statistics, the average spending of UK people on operating their private transport, including petrol/diesel, servicing, and repairs is 1892.80 per year.

How to save on fuel expenses?

Fuel expense is an unavoidable spend for most households. Here are some ways you can save on this cost.

  • Online price comparison: provides the lowest petrol price within your area. It covers nearly 11,000 petrol stations within the UK. You can create an account and get daily updates on prices for different fuels. So if you put NW2 1AA as your postal code the site will show ten petrol stations within 5 miles of the postal code. Between these ten stations, it will show the lowest price for unleaded petrol as 125.9p and highest as 139.9p. You can also access this site via a mobile application.
  • Reduce the weight: It is always a best practice to carry less weight in your car. It is believed that 100 pound of excess weight increases fuel consumption by 1 to 2%. Let's say you travel 7,900 miles in a year, and your car has an MPG of 35. Assuming the lowest price of petrol from above, your annual petrol expense will be £1291.88. If you add 100 pounds (or around 45 kg) of weight to your car on a regular basis, your MPG will be reduced to 34.3, and your annual petrol cost will increase to £1,318.25.
  • Drive slowly: As per the Automobile Association, if you drive at a speed of 80 MPH your fuel consumption goes up by 25% from what it would be at 70 MPH. Similarly driving at 60 MPH can provide up to 9% fuel savings than driving at 70 MPH. This means that if your car is giving an MPG of 35 at 60 MPH if you regularly drive at a speed of 70, your MPG will drop to 31.85. At the speed of 80, MPG will be £23.89.

Offers from supermarkets and credit cards: If you buy fuel from petrol stations in supermarkets, you can earn reward points under schemes such as Tesco's Clubcard, Sainbury's Nectar and Morrison Miles. These points can be redeemed either towards fuel or other purchases. Alternatively, you can also get cashback on fuel purchases by paying through cashback credit cards like the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card, and Santander 123 card. For instance, the Santander 123 card provides 3% cashback on fuel purchases. So if you purchase fuel worth £6, you will get cashback or discount of 0.18p.

There are many more ways of saving fuel and thus reducing your household expenses. You can check the Automobile Association website for more ideas.

Use our household budget calculator to see the contribution of fuel to your household's overall finances.