How to save on petrol these holidays

trending 21/12/2017

With the holiday season upon us, we're likely to be doing a lot more driving than normal.

Whether it's a journey to a family Christmas in far-flung corners of New Zealand, a trip to the bach up north or a visit to a New Year's hotspot, petrol prices need to be taken into consideration.

With that in mind, here's a few tips for saving on fuel this summer.

Step 1: Get the Gaspy app

It's all well and good being willing to drive to get cheaper fuel, but if you don't know where it is, you're stuck in a bit of a quandary.

That's where the Gaspy app comes in. It pools the collective knowledge of all its users to notify others of the fuel prices of service stations in their area and then puts them in an easy-to-read list from cheapest to priciest.

Developed by Tauranga software development company Hwen, the app can save its users a fortune and even offers potential rewards, if they're willing to help update fuel prices.

Step 2: Look out for a Gull petrol station

We promise this is not sponsored content, but Gull is usually by far and away the cheapest of all petrol companies' service stations.

Gull's ability to beat its much bigger competitors largely comes down to the fact it only imports fuel into one location in Mt Maunganui and bases most of its stations in the upper North Island.

That's why petrol in that area is generally cheaper than the rest of the country.

A Gull spokeswoman said it has lower operating costs than its competitors, which means it can offer better prices - and it also championed its unmanned, drive-thru sites, which it says costs less to develop.

Step 3: Do your research on fuel savings schemes

There are myriad schemes from supermarkets, insurance firms and petrol companies that'll save you cash when you fuel up - something Gull doesn't really offer, other than its Discount Days.

If you do your grocery shopping at Pak'nSave or New World, you can earn 6c/litre at Mobil stations, while Countdown's AA Smartfuel Onecard allows you to save 3c/litre for every $100 you spend and 6c/litre for every $200.

AA Smartfuel has the additional bonus of allowing you to accumulate your discounts, so you can get a massive saving on fuel in one hit, rather than a minimal savings spread across several refuelling stops.

Mobil has also introduced its Smiles Driver Rewards Programme, which similarly allows users to accumulate points and spend them on fuel or in-store treats.

Wherever you buy petrol this summer, drive safely and have a happy holiday.