Petrol prices soar: Bill stress reaches new high
Petrol prices are causing financial strain for millions of Aussie motorists, according to new research by Finder.
According to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, the number of Australians who rate petrol as one of the expenses that cause them the most stress has reached its highest level on record.
1 in 4 Australians (25%) say petrol is now one of their most stressful costs, up from 17% in January this year.
This has more than doubled since the same time last year (11% in March 2021).
Source: Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, a nationally representative survey of more than 30,000 respondents
Petrol prices are now at an 8-year high according to the ACCC.
In major cities across Australia the price of petrol hit 182.4 cents per litre in late February 2022, which was the highest inflation-adjusted (real) level since 2014, according to the ACCC's latest petrol monitoring report. Prices are set to continue to rise in March.
Sarah Megginson, senior editor of money at Finder, said continuing fuel price hikes are becoming a huge financial burden on many people.
"Many Australians say they dread filling up at the pump right now and there's no sign prices will start falling anytime soon.
"Prices have been rising consistently over the past 12 months with more drivers feeling the pinch than ever before."
Households should brace themselves for even further petrol price hikes as the war in Ukraine continues, causing calls for the fuel excise to be cut (a flat tax on petrol and diesel when it's bought by motorists at the bowser, which is currently 44.2 cents per litre).
Megginson said in the meantime, there are some steps motorists can take to save money at the bowser.
"On a 60-litre tank of petrol, you can save upwards of $20 per tank if you're able to check for the lowest prices on a petrol price app.
"Keep your tyres well inflated and drive as smoothly as possible – avoid braking hard and quick acceleration as this can reduce fuel economy. Using cruise control can also help.
"If you're in the market for a new car, look into the models that have the best fuel efficiency or a hybrid," Megginson said.
Could you be saving on your car insurance policy? Visit Finder's Car Insurance hub to find out.