Do you know that motorists in Singapore are overpaying for petrol most of the time? According to a study by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), motorists are found to be wasting as much as S$40 million each year because they do not have a clear idea of the effective petrol prices across brands.
Petrol cost is one of the recurring costs that drivers pay on a regular basis. And while many drivers are found to be loyal to a certain brand of petrol, especially if they can enjoy extra discounts and perks, they may still not be getting the best price.
The study found that the myriad of discount and rebate schemes are complicated and make price comparison difficult for consumers. Interestingly, they also found that 63% of motorists in Singapore purchased a higher grade of petrol than needed for their vehicles. This is despite the fact that studies have shown that using a higher petrol grade than recommended does not necessarily equate to better engine performance.
Since most drivers are likely to be spending an average of $200 on petrol per month and over two thousand dollars worth of petrol per year, it’d make sense to find ways to ensure that you are optimising your petrol spend. Cutting just $50 per month can easily help you save up to $600 a year! Here are 8 easy ways for you to start saving more money from your petrol spend and use the savings for a well-earned holiday instead!
1. Drive at a moderate speed
Driving at a steady speed helps your engine perform more efficiently. This means avoiding speeding, as well as sudden deceleration and hard starts. These actions not only increase fuel consumption by as much as 40%, they can also cause more wear and tear to your vehicle.
2. Compare fuel prices diligently
The study done by the CCS reported that nearly three in five (58%) motorists stuck to the same petrol brand between 2012 and 2016, citing the convenient location of the retailer, and their satisfaction with the perks they are getting, among the top reasons.
This means that only one in five consumer compared prices diligently. Instead of relying on the perceived discounts you are getting or getting your petrol pumped from convenient locations, you might want to start comparing fuel prices more diligently using websites such as this.
3. Not spending on a higher grade of petrol unnecessarily
CCS also found that motorists here are also spending unnecessarily on a higher grade of petrol than their vehicles need, despite studies showing that there is no difference to engine performance when one uses a higher petrol grade than recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Using high-grade petrol has no obvious impact on fuel consumption for motorists, so think twice before getting the higher grade petrol! Imagine that you are using Shell’s 98-Octane instead of 95-Octane petrol and spending an extra $0.32 per litre. Say if you use an average 50-litre per month and 600 litres per year, you’d be saving $192 just by switching the type of petrol you use.
4. Use petrol brand loyalty cards (Part 1)
If you have a preference for a certain fuel brand, get the loyalty card that comes with it for discounts. Here’s a summary of some of the perks provided by the major petrol brands here:
|Shell||Earn 1 Shell Escape point/litre||Insure your vehicle with DirectAsia for extra perks!||Your Shell Escape points will expire 2 years from the date that they are issued. For cards that have not been used for a continuous period of 6 months for purchases of Shell fuel and to accrue points, your card will automatically be cancelled and all unutilised points in the card(s) will be forfeited/ invalidated|
|Esso||Earn 1 Smiles Point with every litre of Synergy fuel pumped||Choose to convert your Smiles points to other reward programmes, such as KrisFlyer, Citi Dollars or Asia Miles.||Points accumulated in the Card shall expire in the event the Cardmember does not make any Qualifying Purchase and earn any points within 12 months from the date the last points were awarded|
|Caltex||Earn 3 LinkPoints with every litre of fuel purchased at Caltex||Plus! is Singapore’s largest consumer rewards programme, which means you’ll be able to earn Link points across a greater number of merchants.||LinkPoints earned in a calendar year will expire on the 31 December of that year. However, Plus! Cardholders and NTUC Plus! Cardholders are given grace periods of 6 months to redeem their LinkPoints.|
|SPC||10% discount with the SPC U card||The card does not come with any points accumulation.|
To maximise your savings, you might want to stick to the same petrol brand, preferably one where there will be stations available near your home and workplace.
5. Use Petrol credit cards for extra savings (part 2)
To maximise the savings from your petrol brand loyalty cards, you might want to look at getting a corresponding credit card that gives you extra discounts when used in conjunction with the petrol cards. Many of the banks in Singapore have set up partnerships with petrol companies in order to provide discounts on petrol spending.
On top of savings on petrol expenditures, these cards usually also come with other types of benefits, such as cash rebates or cashback. This can further help you increase your savings on your overall credit card expenditure. For instance, Citi Cashback Card is offering a 20.88% discount on petrol at Esso and Shell stations. Together with its 8% cashback on dining and grocery bills, it is perhaps one of the best credit cards one can use on a daily basis.
6. Lighten up on your car load
Stop treating your car boot as a store room! A full trunk adds weight to your vehicle; and a car requires less energy to move at the required speed when it’s lighter. So, it’s not rocket science that a lighter car will decrease fuel consumption.
7. Choosing a fuel-efficient car
If you are looking to change your car, you might want to consider one that’s more fuel-efficient. In fact, hybrid cars are all the rage these days. In general, hybrid cars can be 40 per cent more fuel efficient than comparable petrol-powered ones.
8. Stop idling
Drivers tend to put their car in idle when waiting for someone or when running errands. The next time, consider switching off the engine instead. Idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel.
While the purchase of your car is a sunk cost, you can always look to save on your overall car recurring costs, such as petrol spend and car insurance. Enhance your savings today with our 8 easy tips above, as well as getting your car insurance from DirectAsia today. Get a free quote now!