It looks like petrol’s set to soar up to £1.25 a litre in 2011. A high price to pay, but maybe it’s time we thought more about the amount of fuel we burn before moaning about the costs?
Currency movements, rising oil prices, the VAT increase and another fuel duty hike are all to blame for the price rise, predicted by the Petrol Retailers Association.
So, we should really start thinking about how we can use less fuel. I filled up a BMW X5 (not my own car I hasten to add) at the weekend. It cost me £85.61 – and that’s at £1.179 for a litre of (supermarket) diesel.
At £1.25, it would have been over £90. That particular car has an 85-litre tank – so a full fill-up would have been £100 at the supermarket price, or £106 at £1.25 per litre.
Is fuel free, or are motorists’ trousers on fire?
These prices should be forcing people to think twice about using their car. Yet many drivers are still behaving as if fuel were free.
Last weekend I was struck by the number of people driving dangerously fast and ignoring speed limits – including urban 30mph zones. As a friend of mine once commented, “they’re only going to sit down again once they get home”. So what’s the rush?
Why is everyone in such a hurry? Don’t they know they could offset fuel price rises with a bit of careful driving and vehicle maintenance?
Time to save more fuel
If you’re feeling brave, consider an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) car. We tried a Proton – not the most exciting steed, but we were interested in the potential fuel cost savings. Why brave? Because there are no guarantees that duty won’t be raised on LPG – so any investment you make could be wiped out at a stroke in the next budget.
Though just one word of advice – stay away from ‘fuel additives’. They claimed so much, but when we tested them, they delivered next to nothing.
Yes, fuel prices will be higher than they’ve ever been – but shouldn’t this be the perfect excuse to not only use our cars less, but also find other ways to save fuel?