Save at the pump!

In this post, we are going to look at how best to save money in the pump, ensuring that you'll spend less on fuel and make the biggest savings when you can. Before we explore the best service stations to use and how to make the biggest savings, we will look at keeping you use of fuel down.

Lots of people when they buy a car will look at the fuel consumption and people generally go for something economical. Here's some of the top tips for keeping fuel consumption down:

  • Keep tyre pressure correct

  • Don't overload the car with unneccesary weight - e.g. there's no point leaving your camping chairs stuck in the trunk if you never use them!

  • Don't rev the engine

  • Ensure your car is maintained regularly

  • Don't have the air con on and open windows. In fact use open windows and save on the aircon where you can.

  • Slow down! Driving to fast absolutely hammers the fuel, stay within a reasonable speed to keep costs down.

So if like me, you do most or all of the above apart from cutting down journeys, carpooling, catching the bus, etc, etc - how can you save the amount of money you pay at the pump. Here's the offers available at service stations across NZ:

BP offers Smartfuel - Here you get 6 cents per litre off every time you fill up. You can now get 6 cents off every time you put fuel in no matter what and if you spend over $40 you can choose to stack the savings until you are ready to spend it. You also can also gain savings at participating retailers and when spending in the store. You need and AA Smartfuel card or use you AA card. BP has also teamed up with GAS and you can use your cards at either station.

Mobil Service Stations offer the Mobil Smiles Card which works as follows:

For every litre of Premium Fuel you fill up you get 1.5 points.

For every litre of Regular Fuel you fill up you get 1 point.

300 points gets you $10, 500 points gets you $10 and 1500 points gets you $30 which can be redeemed for products in store or for fuel.

So to hit say 500 and get your $10 you would need to fill up 10 times with regular fuel (assuming you filled up 50 litres each time.

Finally, we come to Z which offers Airpoints, Flybuys and money off. They offer 6 cents each time you fill up - sometimes it's 10 cents, promotional days tend to be Wednesdays and sometimes Saturdays. Z is exactly the same as BP and Gas in that you can stack the cents you earn and the accumulated discount is good until the end of the next month, following the purchase e.g. if you stacked the discount on 7th April, you've got until the last day in May to use it. Z offers something unique called SHARETANK where you can share your account with up to 5 people. The 5 people can be anyone - family, friends, work colleagues - it really doesn't matter and the beauty of it is you can share it with family who leave in other areas - as long as there's a Z service station that the person can access then it's all good!

Which is best? Why? And how best to save?

There's the most obvious variant of how much fuel is at the time you are buying - luckily there's an APP you use for that which tells you the cheapest fuel in your area.

Also, you don't want to be driving lots of extra KMs just to stick to same service station.

But....all things being equal then I like the Z Service Station the best, the fuel tends to be amongst the cheapest and you can keep stacking as much as you want. Last Friday, I filled up my car from empty for $58 thanks to all the fuel I'd stacked.

Here's a comparison of using your discount every time you fuel up versus stacking.

Let’s say every trip you are filling up $40. Just for illustration, we will assume that fuel is fixed at $2 per litre.

Fuel Cost Discount Used Total spend Total Saved Discount Stacked Total spend Total Saved $40 0.06 38.80 1.20 0.06 40 0 $40 0.06 38.80 2.40 0.06 40 0 $40 0.06 38.80 3.60 0.06 40 0 $40 0.06 38.80 4.80 0.06 40 0 $40 0.06 38.80 6.00 0.06 40 0 $200 $194 6.00 200 0 So in the example above after 5 trips of using the discount you’ve saved $6 and spent $194. If you were going on your sixth trip to fill up (say 50 litres) it would cost you $100 (at $2 per litre). You could use your discount again, which would knock $3 off.

However, if on the sixth trip you use your stacked balance you would save $15 plus you can apply your $0.06 for that trip giving you a total saving of $18! The saving has been doubled.

The more you fill up and the more you stack the better your saving. Plus I always go when there’s a $0.10 promotion such as Wednesdays. You really can save a fortune and it’s certainly within reach for the moderate fuel consumer to be filling up at least once every other month for closer to $50 total.

As a family, we have certainly benefited from stacking fuel discounts at Z but no matter who you choose to use, make sure you take advantage of these offers and make the savings, which can then be put towards something else.



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