The cost of petrol is leaving our wallets wrung out, but it’s not all doom and gloom – learn how to save big dollars at the pump with our fuel hacks and roundup of current fuel discounts.
Whether you drive a little or a lot, saving money on the road can make a massive difference to your finances.
From downloading handy apps, to being strategic about where you shop and even changing your driving habits, there are plenty of ways to save at the pump – sometimes it just involves thinking outside of the box.
In the spirit of tackling the rising cost of living, here are ten ultra-savvy tactics to maximise discounts on fuel. Let’s get hacking for those savings!
Fuel hacks and petrol saving tips at a glance:
#1 Get ahead with fuel price-checking apps
If you don’t have a dedicated folder of fuel apps on your home screen, then you probably should. This handy shortcut puts easy fuel savings right at your fingertips, helping you to unlock the sharpest petrol pricing.
The following price-checking apps are worth downloading and scouting before your next fill up:
Run by the New South Wales Government, Fuel Check covers real-time fuel prices for service stations in NSW and ACT, meaning you can find the cheapest fuel near you, anytime.
You can also personalise the app by adding your favourite stations and set up alerts when the price drops under a certain threshold.
The Fuel Check app is available to download for free on the App Store (4.7/5 rating) and Google Play (4.6/5 rating).
You can use MotorMouth to make sure you’re getting the best deal on fuel – perfect for bargain lovers!
Simply narrow your search to only include certain service stations and types of fuel. We like the handy colour coding system, which makes it easy to find the cheapest fuel (look for green).
The MotorMouth app is available to download for free on the App Store (2.9/5 rating) and Google Play (2/5 rating).
Did you know you can save money by keeping your dockets? Simply take photos of your receipts and upload them to ReceiptJar to earn points.
Now, here’s where you’ll need to think outside of the box. Once you’ve saved up enough points, cash out your ReceiptJar points for fuel gift cards to save on filling up!
Dare we say you’ll be wanting to hold on to your receipts from now on?
The ReceiptJar app is available to download for free on the App Store (4.6/5 rating) and Google Play (4.6/5 rating).
Say goodbye to the days of blinking and missing out on the cheapest fuel prices. Thanks to the My 7/Eleven app’s fuel lock feature you can lock in the best 7/Eleven fuel price for up to 7 days – gamechanger!
This is particularly helpful if you’ve got a big drive coming up and you know fuel prices are about to go up – fill up cheap and then again for the same price up to a week later. Now that’s a hack worth mentioning.
The My 7-Eleven app is available to download for free on the App Store (4.8/5 rating) and Google Play (4.5/5 rating).
This fuel app is made in Australia for Australia, with a real-time pricing map for NSW, QLD, SA and WA.
Be aware that the app is consumer managed, so prices can be a bit off, but it is still a good starting point for scoping out the cheapest fuel.
The Petrol Spy app is available to download for free on the App Store (4.8/5 rating) and Google Play (4.7/5 rating).
Another app worthy of your fuel hacks folder, Fuel App is a good place to locate specific outlets where you can use fuel discounts, as well as find the cheapest prices in your area.
Fuel Map is owned by WikiCamps and is favourite amongst the road-tripping community who use this app to compare fuel prices nationwide.
Again, Fuel Map prices are crowdsourced, so the information can be outdated (especially in more remote locations).
The Fuel Map app is available to download for free on the App Store (4.6/5 rating) and Google Play (4.4/5 rating).
#2 Leverage fuel discount promotions
Keeping your eye out for a good deal is a key part of any savvy spending strategy, especially when it comes to fuel hacks.
Fuel discounts go beyond the service stations themselves, in fact, you can find promotions anywhere from your insurance to your energy provider.
Here’s a few standout offers going around at the moment:
- Car Sales: Get an initial 8c and an ongoing 4c per litre discount if you scan the barcode on their app
- NRMA: Save 5c per litre on premium fuels and 3c per litre of regular fuel at participating Ampol fuel stations
- My Rewards: Save 8c per litre
- Ampol: Download the Ampol app and save 6c per litre on your first three fill-ups
- Origin & Everyday Rewards: Scan the barcode on your Origin app and your Everyday Rewards card and save up to 12c per litre at EG service stations.
#3 Unlock supermarket rewards program savings
We’re a big fan of supermarket reward programs. Not only can they be leveraged to boost your frequent flyer balance, but they can also save you heaps on fuel too.
Coles Flybuys and Woolworths Everyday Rewards are the two main supermarket loyalty programs in Australia, with both offering permanent discounts on fuel.
As well as accumulating Flybuys points with a stack of partner retailers, you can also save every time you fill up just for doing your weekly grocery shop.
Flybuys members get 4c off fuel at Coles service stations. Sometimes promotions also offer an extra 10c per litre off with eligible $20 in-store purchases.
In the end, members can stack rewards, with up to 14c off per litre, plus bonus Flybuys points – what a win!
Are you team Woolworths? Everyday Rewards members get 4c off fuel with shops over $30 – simply scan your Everyday Rewards card when at EG and Caltex Woolworths service stations.
While we’re here…
On the topic of wheels, make sure your type pressure is correct (usually around 32psi for small and medium cars, but you can find this information on the inside of the driver’s door).
We say this because every 1% drop in pressure sees a 0.3% ride in fuel consumption, which means you’re using 4% more fuel if your tyres are 20% below the recommended inflation.
Alternatively, fuel vouchers are also printed out on your grocery receipts. These usually expire within a relatively short amount of time, so it pays to keep them handy!
#4 Earn or burn Qantas Points when you fill up at BP
Thanks to a BP Rewards and Qantas partnership, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn – and burn – Qantas Points at the bowser, helping your dollar to go further.
BP Rewards is Australia’s leading loyalty program for fuel and the only fuel loyalty program that will directly earn you Qantas Points.
Using Qantas Points for BP fuel purchases
Qantas Frequent Flyer members can use Qantas Points to pay for eligible purchases at participating BP service stations. Redemptions are processed at the point of purchase using new Reward Code technology.
Members can even pay with Qantas Points without getting out of the car via the BPme app (at participating BPme service stations).
Simply download the app and choose how many Qantas Points you wish to use on the app before filling up. By doing so, Qantas Frequent Flyer Members will receive $10 off for every 1,500 points used.
In terms of leveraging the tie-up to save on fuel, you will need a minimum of 1,500 Qantas Points in your account. Qantas Points can only be used to cover transactions of at least $10 and up to a maximum of $100 (spends over $100 will require the remainder to be paid in cash).
This is a good option to save money if you don’t have any travel plans. As always, the best use of Qantas Points is aspirational flight award redemptions.
You can learn more about this tie-up by reading our BP Rewards loyalty program guide.
BP x Qantas: Latest promos
From time to time, the BP Plus Fuel Card offers bonus Qantas Points promotion offers for new customers. While there is no current offer at the time of writing, check back, as we’ll report offers here.
Previous offers have seen members earn 10x Qantas Points by filling up or shopping at BP. That’s a ludicrous 20 Qantas Points per litre (1,800 points for a 90 litre tank), so it pays to keep watch for BP’s exclusive Qantas Frequent Flyer offers.
#5 Use cashback sites
Befriending cashback sites is a savvy money hack in general and saving dollars on fuel is no exception. Here in Australia, we have access to some top cashback sites, including Cashrewards and ShopBack.
We suggest signing up to these two sites and keeping your eyes peeled for regular cashback offers on fuel vouchers. While there don’t appear to be any deals at the time of writing, ShopBack sometimes offers up to 7% cashback on Ampol fuel vouchers – that’s an easy $7 saving on a $100 tank.
From time to time, it’s also possible to leverage savings on gift card purchases, with the ability to use those gift cards to spend on discounted fuel.
New to cashback? Learn the ropes with our guide to the best cashback sites in Australia.
#6 Take surveys (and cash in your credits for free fuel)
Here’s one for those out-of-the-box thinkers. Did you know you can make money by completing online surveys? We often turn to survey sites and then use the money for fuel vouchers and gift cards!
Many savvy shoppers think highly of Swagbucks, which is rated 4.3 stars on Trustpilot by over 30,000 users. You can download the Swagbucks app for free for iOS (2.8 rating) and Android (4.2 rating).
Most sites pay around $5 per survey just for participating in market research and giving your opinion. Depending on your vehicle, taking part in 10 surveys a week could easily offset the cost of fuel!
#7 Alternative modes of transport
Befriend public transport
Depending on where you live, public transport can be a faster, more convenient, and cost-effective way to get from A to B.
Once you’ve wrapped your head around the timetable and have a metro card, public transport can virtually eliminate trips to the bowser.
I live one hour south of my CBD and personally only ever commute to the city by train. Doing so not only saves me money on fuel and time in traffic, but also the headache and exorbitant cost of parking.
Plus, gladly trading the frustration of stopping and staring in peak hour for a good book is also a far more pleasant way to spend my morning!
Convert to two wheels
Not a fan of public transport? Getting your Motorbike license can allow you to save huge bucks on the road.
The average motorbike has between a 13-27 litre tank, which can cost under $50 to fill. Better yet, scooters typically burn less fuel, with a few eclectic options now available too.
The license requirements for scooters vary in states and territories, with C-class license holders able to legally ride mopeds in some states.
Live in a city? Even better, benefit your health and the planet by budgeting for a few more minutes to ride your bicycle instead. Your money budget will thank you too.
#8 Practice better driving habits
Simply paying attention to how you drive can have a massive impact on your fuel consumption. Aside from having the correct tyre pressure, there are many other practical ways to stretch your tank further.
Yes, we’re talking to all the lead foot drivers out there. Here’s a quick lesson on better driving for efficient fuel consumption:
Minimising accelerating and braking can reduce your fuel use dramatically because hard accelerating burns more fuel and braking wastes energy when the vehicle must regain speed.
Changing up through the gears faster is more efficient because driving in a lower gear will rev the engine and waste fuel. For automatic drivers, easing back on the accelerator once the car has gained speed will cause the transmission to shift through the gears quicker.
Befriending cruise control will help you maintain a consistent speed, which is what we want for efficiency. On speed, fuel consumption increases when your car is travelling at higher speeds. Simply opting to travel 90kph or 100kph instead of 110kph on highways (where safe) can make a big difference.
Opting for fresh air over the air conditioner is another way to easily spend less money on fuel. Air conditioners generally increase fuel use by 10%. In saying that, the wind resistance from having your windows down on a fast road won’t do you any favours either, so light use of the air conditioner can actually be more beneficial here.
Only fill to the first click because excess fuel can easily be spilled from the overflow (I am guilty of overfilling until I see a round dollar number, but this isn’t wise).
Don’t idle your engine as this wastes fuel. Most newer cars don’t need to be warmed up, and for the most part, it doesn’t get cold enough in Australia for this to be necessary.
Ditching the excess baggage can help lighten your load and improve fuel efficiency. Roof racks are great when you need them, but otherwise, they are just unnecessary weight and wind resistance. Even that box of things you’ve been meaning to donate to goodwill is costing you more fuel!
Regular services are key to minimising emissions and fuel use. Most vehicles need to be serviced once or twice a year, depending on the car and how much you drive it.
#9 Green is the new cool: Buy a hybrid vehicle
Cruising around town in an old car can be cool, but chances are your classic whip is chewing through a heap of fuel.
Australia is currently witnessing the rise of Electric and Hybrid vehicles, with more EV charging stations popping up all over.
While road-tripping Australia’s vast distances – think the Nullabor – with an EV is still hit and miss, hybrid vehicles are a more affordable option that gives you the best of both worlds.
Even so, investing in a hybrid may seem like an expensive option to start with, but a more efficient set of wheels will save you a whole heap of cash in the long run.
Hybrid and even electric vehicles are only becoming more cost-effective, with manufacturers now having to meet tighter emission and fuel consumption laws. As such, we are only seeing more innovative technology to reduce fuel consumption.
#10 Shop around: Cheap fuel outlets
If we’ve learned anything about living a frugal lifestyle, it’s that shopping around for the best prices is well worth the extra effort.
Many drivers stay loyal to a particular brand, but this isn’t always smart. Even with loyalty discounts, some cheap fuel outlets still have better prices, so crunching the numbers here can definitely pay off.
Costco doesn’t just offer savings on your grocery shop, fuel is usually cheaper there too! At the time of writing, fuel is $1.78 per litre (compared to around $1.90 elsewhere).
Here’s the catch: Only Costco members can fill up and a membership will set you back $60 a year. However, you only really need one friend or family member with a card they’re willing to lend for the day.
Costco service stations are few and far between (for example, there’s only one in South Australia) and usually out of the way. As such, this operation can take a bit of forward planning, but it can pay off in savings.
Bonus tip: Get your fuel expenses back on tax
Here’s one more fuel-saving tip. If you aren’t already, keep a logbook of the driving you undertake directly for work, for tax time.
This may seem like a tedious task, but a typical commuter that drives significant kilometres for work each year may be able to claim a decent pool of petrol expenses come tax time – that’s well worth the effort! Check with your accountant about your eligibility here.
Summary: Are fuel hacks worth it?
Absolutely! There’s no denying that fuel has become an increasingly large expense for the everyday driver in Australia.
Adopting just one of these fuel hacks can help you save your pennies at the petrol bowser, but adjusting your habits to practice all ten tips can have a hugely positive impact on your finances – more money for travel sounds pretty good to us!
Whether it’s using fuel apps, keeping an eye on cashback sites and promotions, completing surveys, or changing how (or what) you drive, there are countless ways to reduce the cost of filling up.
Tell us about your favourite fuel hacks in the comments!
FAQ: Fuel Hacks
What method gives the best fuel mileage?
Being light on the accelerator is the bet way to save fuel, especially in urban locations.
What are the best 3 ways to save fuel?
Accelerating gently, using cruise control and ensuring your vehicle is aerodynamic are the best ways to save fuel.
Does driving slower save gas?
Yes, lowering your speed by 10-15km/h will save you approximately 10-15% on your fuel bill.
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