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Driving around for cheaper petrol cancels out savings

Date: 14/03/2013 17:27:20
Category: Fuel Efficiency
Author: Richard Towey

Driving an extra ten miles in order to find a cheaper place to buy petrol represents a false economy, according to a new study.

Although motorists might like to think they're looking after the pennies by filling up at the cheapest petrol station, a survey of 2,000 drivers from gocompare.com claims many are missing out on savings due to the extra distances they travel to get there.

Researchers found that 13 per cent of the study group - representing 3.5 million drivers - would be prepared to detour ten miles just to save 5p per litre on their fuel, reports energychoices.co.uk.

A further nine per cent - representing 2.5 million drivers - would be more than happy to drive 20 miles or more out of their way to benefit from the same discount.

Yet according to thisisplymouth.co.uk, a 5p per litre saving on an average top up of £38.81 would knock just £1.40 off the price of petrol and £1.34 off the rate of diesel.

Going by current prices and the cost of petrol through a car returning a fuel efficiency of 45 miles per gallon, the extra ten miles cancels out the amount saved.

Of course, car drivers could monitor their fuel usage on these detours if they invest in car tracking systems.

Other readings suggest they might also like to swot up on their car's fuel efficiency. Just 13 per cent of the study group claimed to be aware of their vehicle's mile per litre fuel consumption, although 41 per cent said they knew their car's economy in miles per gallon.

As a result, a fifth (20 per cent) said petrol stations should go as far as displaying prices in gallons as well as in litres.  

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