A study by the consumer organisation MoneySupermarket.com has suggested that 13 million drivers across the UK waste up to £21 a month driving out of their way to look for cheaper fuel.
Principled motorists who refuse to pay premium prices are travelling further than they would, often for savings of only 1p per litre. The report suggests that this could be wasting up to £500m every month.
Drivers of petrol vehicles are said to waste £8 on average a month, whereas the figure for diesel drivers is much higher, at £21.
Consumer finance expert Clare Francis said, “It’s no surprise cash strapped motorists are seeking out cheaper petrol prices. The cost of fuel accounts for a huge proportion of household outgoings and with prices on the up many drivers are doing all they can to spend as little as possible running their vehicle.”
Fuel prices have soared in recent years, and the Automobile Association (AA) report that in August alone, the price of fuel has risen by 1.7p per litre. Since November 2008, average fuel prices have risen by around 50p per litre.
Francis offered tips for motorists on how to drive in a way that was more efficient financially and better for the environment, saying, “Avoiding heavy braking, harsh accelerating or excessive speeding can reduce the amount of fuel you use significantly.
“Keeping your vehicle road worthy is also important. Check your tyres to make sure they are at the right pressure, and ensure your car is regularly serviced as dirty air filters and oil can all have a negative effect on fuel consumption.”
MoneySupermarket.com said that motorists should follow the ‘2 for 1 rule’, driving 2 miles further per penny per litre saved. They also launched a Fuel Cost Calculator, which enables consumers to find the exact cost of driving further for ‘cheaper’ fuel.