How to save on petrol costs: Expert advises on best times for cheaper fuel rates

Petrol pump
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The escalating cost of living crisis has prompted motorists to actively hunt for the most affordable prices for household goods, bills and even petrol. Recent figures from RAC Fuel Watch reveal a continuing decline in diesel prices, while petrol costs appear to be plateauing.

Supermarkets continue to undercut other retailers, with the average price per litre of petrol standing at 140.57p, and diesel costing an average of 142.96p per litre. Despite significant drops in petrol and diesel prices since the record highs witnessed in June and July last year, many are still striving to cut their fuel expenditure.

Nigel King, from All Car Leasing, shared some tips on how drivers can choose where to shop to maximise savings on fuel costs, reports the Express. He advised: "Prices at fuel stations can vary throughout the day, meaning costs tend to rise during peak hours, which is actually midday and after work at around 5pm."

"Your best bet is to head to the station either early in the morning or late into the evening, when not only will the queues be shorter, but the fuel prices tend to be a little bit cheaper." Many motorists and experts have also emphasised the importance of comparing fuel prices between different petrol stations and retailers.

Apps like PetrolPrices and the AA can help drivers pinpoint the cheapest prices in their area to make the biggest savings. Numerous drivers have observed that petrol stations in the same vicinity, and even those under the same brand, often sell fuel at markedly different prices.

Drivers could potentially save money on fuel by comparing prices before filling up, rather than just stopping at the nearest station, suggests new advice. Mr King said: "Usually, supermarket fuel tends to be on the cheaper side and since there are so many supermarket stations dotted around, they may be your best option."

He also warned: "Although it's always important to shop around and do your research on the best prices, some people tend to drive further than they usually would to get fuel at a discounted price. This can be a false economy, actually wasting money by burning excess fuel, so stick to visiting fuel stations in your area."

There have been calls for England, Scotland, and Wales to adopt measures similar to those in Northern Ireland, which aim to reduce fuel costs for drivers. The Consumer Council Fuel Price Checker, which lists average prices for all major towns and cities in Northern Ireland, is seen as a tool to help motorists find the most affordable fuel options nearby.

It provides information on the lowest, highest, and average prices for both petrol and diesel, and has been praised by motoring groups for promoting competition among retailers. According to the latest figures from the service, Cookstown offers the cheapest average diesel price at just 132.8p, while Omagh has an average petrol price of 136.4p.