Recently I’ve had to start working from home on the run up to pay day just to try and ration my fuel. I couldn’t believe this month it cost me £70 to fill up my car with diesel! Only having £130 a month after bills, this is a huge chunk of my disposable income and unless my circumstances improve soon then staying in work and paying for childcare isn’t sustainable.
New data has revealed that fuel prices are now the highest on record according to latest fuel price index. The average cost per litre of petrol is now 131.5p as of October, following an 11% increase in the last 12 months. Something which hasn’t been reflected in most people’s pay packages.
Additional research conducted found these increases have impacted all drivers, particularly those earning between £5,001 and £10,000, like part-time sales or customer services workers. They are paying a significant percentage of their income on fuel – anywhere between 7% and 13%. In contrast, motorists earning more than £35,000, spend between 2-3% of their income on fuel. Although, arguably, this is still more than they should, given the 11% increase in the last year.
The research also revealed the inflated fuel costs have hit all motorists hard, with more than a fifth (22%) of drivers say they spend more money on fuel in a month than they do on going on days out with their family and friends. Those really are sad statistics.
Whilst there’s not a lot you can do about the price of fuel itself, there’s plenty of ways to reduce the amount of fuel you’re using.
Car sharing is a great way to meet new people, socialise on your commute and split the cost of petrol. Lots of organisations are setting up their own schemes or there are sites where you can link up with other people wanting to save money on fuel too such as BlaBlaCar or GoCarShare.
Reducing the weight in your car, reduces the effort your engine needs to put in to get your vehicle to accelerate. Get round to finally emptying your boot or all the crap you’ve been carrying around. Just going straight to work, leave the pram at home, drop off the bags for the charity shop and start saving money. Even the weight of the actual fuel can impact your car’s efficiency. Instead of filling up to the top, it might be cheaper to half-fill your vehicle to keep it light. Of course you’ll only save money on fuel if your filling station is local or on your regularly taken route.
Obviously if you’ve got a roof rack on your car and its being used, then you’d hope that’s because you actually need it. Even unused though, roof racks add wind resistance to a car. This increases drag and makes the engine work overtime. The RAC estimates a roof rack can increase fuel consumption by a huge 10%. If you don’t need it, take it off, along with anything else like flags.
If your tyres are too low, the pressure increases the drag on a car, meaning your car uses more fuel to move forward. If your car doesn’t let you know on your digital display that your tyres need checking, pop to a local garage to check the pressures are correct and inflate if needed. Shop around though. The price of air at garages can vary significantly from free to £2 per minute! Make sure you save money on fuel and air at the same time.