According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the average Singaporean drives almost 19,000km a year. If the average car holds 60 litres of petrol and has a fuel economy of 15km per litre – petrol will end up costing about S$2,400 to S$3,000 a year, depending on the fuel grade (S$1.90 to S$2.30 per litre).
Yes, petrol is an expensive operating cost for car owners. Fortunately, there are ways you can cut down on the annual cost of petrol by 25% or more simply by changing your driving habits.
Here are 5 proven ways to reduce your petrol costs this 2015:
Don’t go without a good petrol credit card
For most drivers in Singapore, having a good petrol credit card is a no-brainer. That’s because paying at the pump with a credit card is not only convenient – it can earn you discounts and rebates of up to 20% or more on your petrol purchase.
Just keep in mind that petrol credit cards typically only offer discounts at specific petrol stations such as Caltex, Esso, Shell, etc.
Some of the best petrol credit cards out there include the following:
- UOB UnionPay Platinum – up to 16% cash back
- HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card – up to 19% total discount/rebate
- UOB Lady Platinum – up to 20% discount
- Citibank Rewards Card – up to 14% discount
- OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card – up to 18% total discount/rebate
These aren’t the only petrol credit cards available. You can compare most of Singapore’s available petrol credit cards and choose the right one by visiting our Credit Card Comparison Page.
Estimated annual petrol savings: 14% to 21%
Don’t idle for long periods of time
If you’re a car owner, you’ve probably done your fair share of idling while waiting to pick up a friend, colleague or even your child. However, idling can end up costing you more than just time – it can cost you plenty of money as well
Idling is also a big petrol waster as every 10 minutes you idle in your car with the A/C and radio on wastes about 1/5 a litre of petrol. It may not sound like much, but the cost really adds up over time.
If you idle at least 2.5 hours a month, you’re easily wasting about 3 litres of petrol monthly – that’s about 36 or more litres every year! And the higher performance the engine, the more fuel you can expect to burn when idling.
So before you sit back in the driver’s seat with the A/C blasting, think about how every idle minute ends up costing you 2% to 5% more in petrol every year.
Note: The National Environment Agency (NEA) is now keeping an eye out for drivers who idle and will issue fines of up to S$5,000 for repeat offenders.
Estimated annual petrol savings: 2% to 5%
Don’t keep junk in your boot
When it comes to driving, most of us never think about what’s lying around in our car’s boot. Depending on your profession, hobbies or your decision to use your car’s boot as a makeshift “junk” drawer – you can end up adding some serious weight to your vehicle.
Unfortunately, added weight to your vehicle also means decreased fuel efficiency. In fact, for every 45kg worth of junk you throw in your car’s boot, you’re losing about 1% to 2% or more every year.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to remedy this situation to save more on petrol every year – take the heavy junk out of your boot until you really need it! That goes for your golf clubs, bowling balls, tool kits, baby stroller and other heavy items.
Estimated annual petrol savings: 1% to 2%
Don’t drive with under-inflated tyres
Let’s be honest – most of us don’t care about how inflated our tyres are. As long as our car’s tyres have air in them and they aren’t flat, who cares right?
Yes, it’s true that as long as your tyres have air, you’ll still be able to travel. But what most people fail to realise is that under-inflated tyres not only cost you about 3% in petrol efficiency every year – they also make driving dangerous.
Under inflation can cause tyre failure (blowouts), tread separation and premature wear, which can easily lead to an accident resulting from loss of control due to a tyre blowout.
By checking your tyre pressure monthly with a tyre pressure gauge to ensure they’re inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications, you can save money on petrol and prevent a possible car accident in the future.
Estimated annual petrol savings: 3% to 4%
Don’t drive without planning your route
In most cases, there are probably several ways to get from your home to your office. But is your “normal” route to work really the most cost-efficient way to commute?
That’s a question you should ask yourself if you’re looking to save more money on petrol every year. Checking a road map or even using Google maps should give you a decent estimate of how long your current route to work is.
Once you know how long your route is, look at that map again to see if you can shave a few kilometres off your daily commute by finding a shorter route – even if it means parking a little farther from your office and doing a bit more walking.
Let’s say your normal everyday route to work is about 40km from home to work and back again. But you’ve found a new route that is 2km shorter, or 36km from home to work and back again.
That 4km difference every day adds up to savings of 60 litres of petrol (960km annually) – that’s at least a full tank of petrol or more a year if you work five days a week.
Estimated annual petrol savings: 5% or more (varies)
But if you follow the five tips above, you can easily save up to 25% or more on your annual petrol expenses. And if you want to save even more money, don’t forget to compare auto insurance policies so you can find a policy that will save you money and provide the coverage you need
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