Driving to find cheaper fuel can cost plenty


Simon Read
Friday 23 August 2013 21:30 BST

We all enjoy finding a bargain but motorists hitting the roads to find cheap petrol could be making an expensive mistake. New research suggests it's not worth driving more than a couple of miles to save 1p off a litre.

The 'Focus on Fuel' report from Moneysupermarket has identified two miles as the tipping point at which driving extra miles to save 1p a litre means drivers are wasting money. Meanwhile, the benefit of saving 2p per litre is cancelled out by driving more than four miles.

Driving the extra miles in search of cheaper fuel means UK petrol drivers could be wasting £8 each month and diesel drivers £21.

However, driving just one mile to pay 5p per litre less on fuel will give motorists a saving of £2.29 when filling a 50-litre tank.

The website reckons motorists should adopt a '2 for 1 rule', with two being the maximum number of extra driving miles to make it worthwhile to find a saving of 1p per litre.

The comparison site has also developed a fuel calculator – at tinyurl.com/k9rlmt8 – to help motorists identify when driving the extra distance for cheaper fuel means making a saving.

A more sensible way to cut fuel costs is to reduce consumption. Clare Francis of the site advised: "Avoiding heavy braking, harsh accelerating or excessive speeding can reduce the amount of fuel you use significantly.

"Keeping your vehicle roadworthy is also important. Check tyres to ensure they're at the right pressure, and regularly service your car as dirty air filters and oil can have a negative effect."

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