How to save money on petrol
Fuel price apps and websites are a great way to compare petrol prices near you. With a bit of planning they can help you save money.
For example, recently in Sydney some fuel price apps showed a difference of 30c per litre between the highest and lowest petrol price in parts of the city. This would mean a saving of over $20 when filling up an 80 litre tank.
We look at state and territory government apps and national apps designed to help you compare petrol prices.
In this article:
- How to check fuel prices near you
- State and territory government fuel price apps
- National fuel price apps
- Other ways to save money on petrol
- Safety tips for downloading and adding apps
How to check fuel prices near you
Fuel price apps and websites provide real-time petrol prices near you. They include big brand petrol stations, such as Shell and Caltex, and smaller independent stations too. By looking at a map of your area, you can see at a glance which petrol station is selling the cheapest fuel.
By entering your postcode or suburb and preferred petrol type in the app or website, you can find out the cost of petrol available near you. Most apps are set to display E10 fuel prices by default, but you can change it to other fuel types to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Most fuel price apps and websites are similar to use and include:
- A map and/or list view of prices at petrol stations in the suburb or postcode you’ve entered.
- Petrol price cycles so you can monitor when prices are increasing or decreasing. This means you can try to fill up your tank when fuel costs are at their lowest in the cycle.
- Ability to save your favourite service stations and preferred petrol type.
State and territory government fuel price apps
State and territory governments across Australia, except for Victoria and ACT, require fuel retailers to submit their petrol prices to a central database every day, or as close as possible to their fuel price changing.
Many of the fuel price apps use these government databases to collect information. Where government data isn’t available, the apps rely on people manually entering petrol prices they see at the petrol station directly into the app, also known as crowdsourcing.
Find the fuel price apps and/or websites in your state or territory to help you compare petrol prices near you.
New South Wales
FuelCheck is a NSW Government app and website that helps you find the cheapest petrol in Sydney and the rest of the state.
The fuel prices page on the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) website includes an interactive map for Victoria. It also tells you the highest and lowest metro fuel prices for the day and what you should not pay above.
The Tasmanian Government has created a website and app called FuelCheck TAS .
MyFuelNT is the Northern Territory Government app that helps you find the cheapest petrol prices across the NT.
The Western Australian Government has created a website called FuelWatch to help you find the cheapest petrol in Perth and the rest of WA.
The Queensland Government doesn’t have its own fuel price app, however it does allow other app developers to access its fuel price database. Queensland’s Department of Energy and Public Works website has a list of the apps and websites, such as Fair Fuel Finder (RACQ) and EzySt, that use this central database. The QLD Government isn’t associated with any of these apps or websites.
Like Queensland, the South Australian Government doesn’t have its own fuel price app. Instead, their Consumer and Business Services website includes a list of apps you can use to check petrol prices in South Australia.
Australian Capital Territory
While there is no mandatory reporting on fuel prices in the ACT, the NSW FuelCheck app also compares petrol prices across ACT.
National fuel price apps
In addition to state or territory-based fuel price apps, there are many apps that let you see and compare fuel prices across all of Australia. We look at a couple of the most popular options below.
PetrolSpy is a free app that lets you compare petrol prices around Australia. It also includes historical fuel price cycle graphs so you can check whether petrol prices are on the increase or decrease.
PetrolSpy is a crowdsourced app, meaning it relies on people to manually enter petrol prices as they see them. For this reason, there’s a chance the data may not always be 100% accurate.
Fuel Map Australia
Fuel Map is another free crowd-sourced app that relies on users to add and edit petrol prices. In NSW, QLD, and WA, however, it sources its prices from government data. It also includes a handy fuel log so you can keep track of how much and often you’re spending on petrol.
Other ways to save money on petrol
- Supermarket discounts. Some supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths offer a fuel discount when you spend over a certain amount on groceries.
- Check fuel price cycles. Petrol prices move up or down in regular cycles so it’s a good idea to check where prices are heading before you fill up. Most fuel price apps include price cycle graphs to help you monitor prices. You can also visit the ACCC to access their price cycle graphs and tips on whether to buy petrol now or later.
- Check your state or territory’s government services website for other driving and transport related discounts or rebates. Take our free short course to see what benefits are available to you.
Safety tips for downloading and adding apps
Downloading a fuel price app to your smartphone or tablet is a convenient way of checking fuel prices when you’re out.
Here are a few tips to remember when downloading apps to your device:
- Only download apps from the official app stores. This means going to the App Store on Apple devices and Google Play on Android devices.
- Consider the permissions you give to an app. For example, it’s appropriate for a fuel price app to request permission to use your location so that it can provide you with petrol prices near you, but requesting access to your contacts or microphone would be inappropriate.
- Where possible, it’s best to provide permission for an app to know your location ‘while in use’ as opposed to ‘all the time’.
Discover more safety tips for adding and managing apps here.