How to get cheaper petrol

Save money on petrol
Save money on petrol

Petrol prices have fallen at the pumps. Earlier in June, the supermarkets slashed prices by 2p a litre to reflect a drop in the wholesale cost of petrol - so now you can fill up for a fraction over 111p per litre. This is something to celebrate - especially if you are planning to cover some distance in the UK this summer. However, it doesn't pay to be complacent: now is the ideal time to hunt down cheaper petrol.

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Our long experience of petrol prices is that what goes down, soon comes up. In fact, while supermarkets and petrol stations can be somewhat sluggish in passing along a fall in wholesale prices, they soon hike them again when the price rises again. Most of us can remember the joys of driving in April 2012 - when the price of petrol hit over 142p per litre.

When prices go up again, the panic will be on to find the cheapest deals around, so it's not worth waiting. It's essential to 'fix the roof while the sun shines' and instigate five steps that will always ensure you pay less for petrol.

1. Keep your eye on petrol prices at the pumps along your usual route
Petrol stations just a few miles apart can charge very different amounts, so make sure you always know the cheapest in the area to visit. You don't need to go out of your way, just keep an eye out on your commute.

2. Supermarkets are your friends
Supermarket petrol does tend to be cheaper, but that's not the only reason why having a local supermarket petrol station is good news. According to the AA, towns with competition from the supermarkets tend have lower petrol prices at all of their petrol stations - in order to attract drivers. So when you are considering where to pick up petrol, zeroing in on supermarkets and their environs is a sensible idea.

3. Check online will show you the cheapest deals in any area, so is worth bookmarking - or downloading the app. It's particularly handy for long journeys, because rather than being stuck with an overpriced motorway service station, you can identify a shopping centre within spitting distance of your route where petrol is substantially cheaper.

4. Don't drive around looking for cheaper petrol
The cost of the petrol you use in doing so will soon outweigh any money you save. According to Moneysupermarket you should follow the 2-for-1 rule. It means that if you have to drive more than two miles out of your way to save 1p, you're wasting money.

5. Pay attention to efficient driving techniques
Technically this won't make each drop of petrol cheaper, but will dramatically reduce the amount of petrol you use - and thereby save a fortune at the pumps. According to Direct Line Drive Plus, bad drivers spend more than two thirds more on petrol than the best drivers - which costs them almost £50 a month.

They highlighted that the smoother someone drives, the less frequently they have to fill up. Keeping speeds down can also save 25% of your petrol, while avoiding short journeys will ensure more efficient use of the engine. Other no-nos include filling the car boot with junk, under-inflating the tyres, and keeping a roof box on the car when it's not in use.