Reduce Your Car Running Costs: How to Save on Fuel, Car Servicing &…

Young woman pumping gas at gas pump. Soaring gas prices concept.

Owning a car is the primary and most convenient way Australians get around. There are 20.1 million registered vehicles on the road, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, the ongoing costs of a car can be a ‘money pit’ in terms of insurance, registration, repairs, maintenance, toll roads and the only cost that only ever seems to go up: fuel. So, buckle up and read on to find out how to keep the cost of running your car down.

How to reduce your fuel costs

To the detriment of motorists, petrol prices have recently increased in Australia and around the world. Petrol prices have spiked up to $2.50 per litre, and oftentimes more for our friends in regional areas. And it doesn’t seem like high petrol prices are going away anytime soon. In fact, record petrol prices are tipped to surge even higher, but you can avoid pain at the petrol pump with some simple steps.

  1. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for cheap fuel prices: Prices per litre can vary a lot from one petrol station to the next. The internet, apps or your local radio station is the best way to do your research and stay on top of cheap petrol prices in your area. Sometimes the price difference can be as much as 50 or 60 cents a litre between adjacent suburbs!
  2. Don’t use premium unless you have to: Premium and regular unleaded or diesel have a noticeable price difference, but does that also mean a difference in your car’s performance? The answer is: sometimes. For some new vehicles premium unleaded petrol is recommended, but older vehicles may not get any benefits from this pricier fuel. Newer vehicles may get increased efficiency and performance but are not likely enough to compensate for the higher price.
  3. Drive less to save more:  Driving less frequently can save on fuel and maintenance costs. Alternative modes of transport could be cycling, walking, public transport or even e-scooters if they are available in your area. Plus, it reduces your carbon footprint which is a huge win for the environment!
  4. Take advantage of petrol discount vouchers:  There are two key ways to get your hands on fuel discount vouchers in Australia. The first is to check the back of your dockets for fuel discounts and use reward and loyalty cards to save a few cents per litre at partnering petrol stations. The second way is to explore coupon websites such as Shopa Docket that provide easy access to petrol discount vouchers localised to your area – just plug in your location and type ‘fuel’ into the search bar to find cheap fuel near you.

Handy savings tip: There’s no shortage of cheap fuel apps that can help you identify where to find the cheapest fuel is near you. Check out apps like PetrolSpy, GasBuddy, Fuel Map and MotorMouth.

How to reduce your car servicing costs

Organising your car for a service might seem like a hassle, but it has long-term benefits. Not only will your car run more efficiently, but it’ll also be more reliable and cost-effective. Costly mechanical problems are less likely if you stick to a regular maintenance routine. Recommended trips every 6 months will more pay for themselves in fuel efficiency and savings on repairs and engine wear.

Is your car due for a service? Don’t book it in until you’ve checked out the Shopa Docket website or app for cheap car servicing deals near you. Need other work done on your car? Save money by browsing the Shopa Docket tyre and auto discounts and deals on the Shopa Docket website or app. 

How to save on tyres and other car accessories

As well as keeping your car regularly maintained, investing in high-quality tyres can have a profound effect on the longevity of your car. Tyres also have a significant impact on your fuel consumption. As the only contact between your car and the road, if you fit the right tyres, and make sure to take good care of them, they’ll be sure to save you pennies at the pumps. 

If your car is in need of new tyres,  browse the Shopa Docket website for tyre specials, as well as cheap wheel alignment deals and other services before you buy – it’s a quick and easy way to save some serious cash!

In addition to the bigger costs of maintaining a car, other expenses such replacing car light bulbs/globes, buying oil, small car parts and proper car cleaning gear etc can also really add up. To avoid paying full price, check out the Shopa Docket website or app for savings at auto shops such as the Automotive Superstore, where you could save up to 80% with Shopa Docket discounts.  

Remember, looking after your car can help reduce your everyday costs.

Handy savings tip: Local auto service centres have qualified and proficient mechanics who provide a quality, expert car service. They’ll often charge less than an official dealership would for the same work and offer car servicing deals.

How to reduce your car insurance costs

Have you ever had a moment while looking at your insurance policy or shopping for insurance when you’ve thought, “Do I really need this?”. Unfortunately, insurance is one of those bothersome but necessary living expenses. Car insurance provides a safety net when it comes to accidents, theft or breakdowns.

So how do you get the best deal on your car insurance? It’s a good idea to shop around for the best car insurance deals. Australia’s car insurance market is very competitive, so it often pays to obtain quotes from different providers each year when it comes time to renew your policy so you can compare car insurance.

Comparison shopping each renewal could also save you hundreds since many providers increase premiums year-on-year by default. Australians pay about $3.6 billion every year in ‘loyalty taxes’ due to staying with their current insurers.

Handy savings tip: If you’ve got the cash to pay upfront, then some insurers charge you less for paying annually instead of monthly.

Simply owning your car can cost you well over $10,000 a year – that’s in addition to the cost of actually buying the vehicle itself. But don’t let that put you off – it only takes a few minutes of scrolling the Shopa Docket website or app to become a savvy saver. With plenty of scope to make savings, you can get from A to B while keeping costs at a minimum. 

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