Media Release

Bowser blues: How Aussie motorists are cutting down on fuel costs

  • 39% of Aussies are taking action to beat high fuel costs, with 13% buying petrol mid-week
  • Unleaded petrol is almost 12% higher than this time last year
  • Tips: How to save on fuel

27 September 2018, Sydney, Australia - Over 7 million Australians have taken steps to cut back on the cost of fuel, according to finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

Many Aussies may be planning to hit the road for a short getaway this long weekend or school holidays, but for some the higher cost of fuel could put the brakes on travel plans.

The new survey of 1, 139 respondents found soaring fuel prices have forced Aussie motorists to take drastic action to reduce how much they’re spending on fuel.

Road users are paying an average of $1.55 per litre – a price tag that’s simply unaffordable for many drivers, particularly when additional costs associated with car ownership are factored in like registration, insurance and car maintenance.

To minimse costs at the bowser, one in 12 drivers (8%) have abandoned their set of wheels and have walked or cycled instead.

Thirteen percent of drivers have opted to fill up mid week when fuel is generally cheaper, while 8% have used apps to help them hunt down where they can find the cheapest petrol and 4% use ride-sharing services such as Uber.

Kate Browne, Personal Finance Expert at finder.com.au, says petrol prices are starting to impact the daily lives of many Australians.

“With the public holiday on Friday (28/09/2018) in VIC and on Monday (01/10/2018) in NSW, ACT and SA and school holidays approaching, many families may be forced to reconsider their getaway plans after they’ve factored in the cost of fuel.”

Browne says people shouldn't stop at the first petrol station they see, but make the most of apps to locate the cheapest fuel locations.

“If you’re driving a petrol-guzzling vehicle, investing in a more fuel-efficient car could save you money in the long run,” she said.

Browne also encouraged people to use public transport when they can, or use ride-sharing services to reduce the number of visits to the petrol pump.

“Opting for public transport or ride-sharing services to get you from A to B could be kinder on both your hip pocket and the environment,” she said.

Motorists in Sydney and Hobart seem to be paying the most for fuel so hikes in petrol prices could hit these drivers the hardest.

“There are lots of ways to save, so if money is tight for you, take a look at your spending and set up a budget so there’s less panic when fuel prices spike,” she said.

Males are more likely to change their driving habits due to fuel prices (44%) compared to women (36%).

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum data analysed by finder.com.au, the national average price of unleaded petrol rose 0.6 cents last week to 152.8 cents a litre.

Despite higher prices, a recent report from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), found consumers have greater options to shop around for fuel with greater diversity and competition within the market.

Have you done any of the following because you can’t afford the high petrol prices?

Actions resulting from high petrol pricesPercentage
I have bought petrol mid-week13%
I have stayed at home + missed events/appts7%
I have used a petrol price check app8%
I have used a rideshare service (Uber/Taxi)4%
I have walked or cycled instead8%

Source: survey of 1,139 Australian drivers, 39% of whom report taking action due to increased petrol prices.

How to save on fuel

  • Use an app to find the cheapest petrol: MotorMouth, PetrolSpy, GasBuddy and FuelCheck can find the cheapest petrol near you. Remember to also try to fill up mid-week when prices are generally be cheaper.
  • Opt for ride-sharing services: Booking an Uber, or using a vehicle from GoGet are simple and affordable alternatives to using your own car - and best of all, you don’t need to fork out for the petrol used.
  • Make the most of petrol credit cards: A petrol rewards card can help you minimise fuel costs while also earning rewards points. However, just be mindful of a higher annual fee that may apply.
  • Get your car serviced regularly: Staying up to date with car services can prevent mechanical problems from developing. Maintaining your cars top notch condition means it will run smoothly and consume less petrol.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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