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What can you do about rising petrol prices? Read on.
As if owning a car was not expensive enough in Singapore, car owners also have to contend with high and ever-rising petrol prices.
The graph from consumer researchers, ValueChampion, shows how petrol prices have steadily risen by about 40 cents in the last two years. It doesn’t sound like much but it certainly mounts up.
And with the average Singapore household spending up to $2,000 per year on petrol the increase looks set to rise by a further 10-15%. Petrol is starting to make a big dent in the Singapore household budget.
Not only that, take a look at the prices of petrol from our garages and you’ll find that most are not that different. Esso is slightly in the lead when it comes to being the cheapest. So what is the answer?
Petrol Credit Card
Most petrol companies operating in Singapore have agreements with banks to provide special discounts on petrol for credit card instead of cash payments.
These discounts vary from 15% to 20%. While some cards have especially high levels of petrol discounts of up to 24-25%, these are special deals, confined to one or two purchases.
To make the most of your savings, you should find a petrol credit card that provides other benefits that cater to your lifestyle. If you spend heavily on groceries and restaurant bills, then pick a card that provides rebate or miles on those expenses.
Alternatively, if your expenditure is primarily on entertainment and online shopping, select a card that relates to those categories of spending. Such a card would also provide a petrol discount at one or two petrol station chains.
Scrutinise the fine print
Don’t ignore the fine print of your card’s petrol deals so as not to miss out on its full benefits. Citi cards, for example, require at least $120 nett spend and three transactions on petrol every month to qualify for its petrol discounts. Citi Cash Back Card’s 20.88% discount has a maximum limit of $25 per quarter, and is lowered to 14% once you reach that limit. Other limitations include a lower rate of discount for 92 or 95 octane petrol compared to 98 octane petrol. So it pays to know what to do with these cards to receive your full discount.
Boost your fuel efficiency
You can increase the fuel efficiency of your car to reduce your petrol costs without driving less. One way is to keep your car light as this will reduce your car’s fuel consumption. Remove sports equipment and other paraphernalia from your car and free it of clutter. Another way is to not fuel up your car too often so as to reduce the average weight of your car.
Changing the way you drive could also lower fuel consumption. One driver reduced his fuel consumption by 20% by accelerating and braking more gradually.
Other methods include ensuring your tire is well inflated and maintain a constant speed, instead of constantly stopping every few seconds.
Utilising these methods could well add up to a 20% reduction in petrol costs. This translates to savings of about $600 per year on petrol. Put that together with another $500 to $700 of savings from using petrol credit cards, and you would have saved a substantial amount -- enough for a short holiday.
Want more money-saving tips on petrol? Check out 4 more ways to save on petrol.