It has recently been announced that the UK government is considering the introduction of a fuel price comparison site allowing drivers to compare cost of petrol and diesel.
A similar tool called ‘Fuel price checker’ already exists in Northern Ireland and is run by the consumer council.
Currently there is no such government tool in the rest of UK making it difficult for consumers to get an idea on just how much they could save filling up elsewhere.
Significant differences in the price of both petrol and diesel have been found between rural and urban areas, and volatile fuel prices in part due to the war in Ukraine have only served to exacerbate the situation.
Whilst the price of fuel in Northern Ireland has been historically lower than the rest of the UK, Conservative MP for Broadland, Norfolk, Jerome Mayhew said he’s been “struck by the effectiveness of price comparison requirement used in Northern Ireland to consistently have lower forecourt prices”
The Competition and Markets Authority published a review of the market early this year and found significant cause for concern in part of the road fuel industry. It is hoped that an open data scheme giving consumers easy access to local pump price information would empower consumers and help encourage competition amongst fuel retailers.
The idea is still at the consultation phase and evidence is being heard from other such schemes in countries like Germany. In the meantime the CMA is conducting a thorough review of fuel pricing in the UK and is set to publish its findings in the autumn.
How to find the cheapest fuel
As government mulls over its own comparison system, many consumers can already find the cheapest petrol prices in their area by using some of the existing price comparison sites.
Petrolprices.com for example covers 8,500 petrol stations across the UK, and offers both website and app access. Local differences in pricing, even within just a 5-mile range could save you between £5-£7 each time you fill up.
Discounts and loyalty schemes
In our ‘Nectar points’ article, we discuss how to save on fuel at Esso petrol stations. Customers using Nectar card as Esso stations will earn 2 points for every £1 spent, which out works out as a saving of over 1.5p a litre at current prices.
The use of specialist credit and debit cards can also help reduce the price of fuel. For example Chase Bank’s current account offers 1% cashback on spending, while ASDA’s new credit card also offers 1% cashback on purchases at ASDA (including fuel) and 0.3% outside ASDA.
Fuel saving tips
Rather than repeat information that is already widely available we’d like to share our favourite fuel saving websites.
RAC’s Ultimate guide to fuel saving
Which – Money saving driving tips
AA – How to drive economically