Commercial insurance article archive
Rising petrol prices and what to do about them
The price of petrol is on the rise – and it's going to keep on rising, if recent figures are anything to go by.
Of course, ever-rising petrol prices are nothing new to Britain's motorists. But as prices creep towards £1 per litre, it looks like the country could be in for another difficult summer. Unfortunately, too, the cooler weather of autumn looks unlikely to bring any relief, as petrol retailers face a tax hike in September which is likely to be passed onto drivers.
So, what can the motorist do to try and cut their costs?
Well, while there's little we can do to reduce the price of fuel, we can influence the amount of it we use. Leaving the car at home as much as possible seems like the obvious solution, but it's not always practical. Instead, try leaving the clutter you've been driving around with at home instead – it'll make your car lighter and more fuel efficient, and most of us will admit to filling our car up with more bits and pieces than we'll ever really need.
On the topic of making your vehicle lighter, how about removing that roof rack you haven't used in a few months? Many motorists who fit roof racks only use them on special occasions such as holidays, when the vehicle needs to carry more cargo than usual, but will leave the roof rack in place, even although it's not being used. This increases drag on the vehicle as you're driving it, and uses up more fuel, so remove the roof rack while you're removing the clutter.
There are also ways to get the most out of the petrol you buy. Did you know, for instance, that if you fill your car up at night, when the temperature is cooler, you'll get a tiny bit more petrol for your money? Don’t be tempted, though, to overfill in order to make the most of the extra: too much petrol will just go out of the overflow, wasting your money as well as the fuel.
Under-filling your car with petrol can be just as much as a problem, however, and it's advisable not to your petrol gauge drop to less than quarter of a tank if you can help it. As tempting as it is to squeeze the very last drop out of your tank and put of that moment when you find yourself handing over yet more money for petrol, making sure you always have enough petrol to let you shop around for the cheapest station will help you avoid emergency dashes to the nearest possible pump – which may not be the cheapest one.
If, after all of this, you're still finding the rising prices a drain on finances, take heart in the fact that you're not alone. Even the US, which has traditionally enjoyed cheaper fuel than the UK, is feeling the strain, with prices reaching a record high of $3 per litre last month.
20 Jun 2007