Your smartphone can help keep fuel costs down
Like many people, the festive season involves once-yearly trips around the country to visit relatives. I’m always on the look out for ways to cut my motoring costs, so I’ve given fuel apps a quick test drive…
One way of keeping driving costs down is to use a smartphone app to locate the cheapest fuel. At Which?, we’ve tested three of them to find out if they are accurate and can save motorists money.
Even though the most expensive of the three apps we tested cost £2.99, our quick test proved that it’s possible to save more than that on the first fill-up, so they may be a worthwhile investment.
Being frugal with fuel
To work out if I could cut my Christmas motoring costs, I checked the price of unleaded petrol on a couple of fuel price apps using Fuelsmart UK, Petrol Finder and Petrol Prices Pro.
The Fuelsmart app cost 69p to download and was good at showing the cheapest local stations. However, the prices stated weren’t always accurate, probably because it relies on users to input the price of fuel at service stations.
In contrast, Petrol Prices Pro was fairly good at giving the right prices – it got 27 out of 41 petrol and diesel prices correct. However, it only shows the five cheapest filling stations, so the nearest to your home may not be listed.
Petrol Finder was the least useful app, as it simply provides a long list of service stations ordered randomly, many of which were more than 20 miles from the testers’ locations.
With the cheapest unleaded petrol costing 128.9p per litre near my south London home, I filled up before I headed down to see relatives in Basingstoke. The cheapest unleaded there is 131.9p, so I saved £1.50 filling up my car’s 50-litre tank.
Cheapest place to fill up
As a one-off, this may not sound like a massive saving. But by working out the cheapest place to fill up before trips to Bristol, Norfolk and Hertford, as well as short local trips, I reckon I’ll save more than £20.That’s not too bad for a few minutes’ work.
You could save even more cash by checking prices online rather than paying for an app. But I travel a lot, and like the flexibility of being able to check prices wherever I am.
So this year I managed to save money by checking pump prices before I set off. What measures have you taken to save on motoring costs over Christmas?
How do you find the lowest fuel prices?
I look out for fuel prices when I'm driving (53%, 92 Votes)
I check fuel prices online (32%, 56 Votes)
Other (10%, 17 Votes)
I check fuel prices with a smartphone app (5%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 173
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