Bargain hunting motorists wasting £500m

23rd August 2013

Motorists looking to cut down on the price they pay for their fuel are wasting around £500 million every month by driving around to find the best deals.

That is according to MoneySuperMarket, which has produced a Focus on Fuel report, that found 38 per cent of motorists drive out of their way to save 1p a litre when filling their vehicles.

These extra miles could actually make this practice a false economy, as the report indicates the practice is costing motorists £500 million, made up of £193 million for petrol drivers and £273 million for those in diesel vehicles.

The amount of petrol wasted each week equates to £8 for petrol drivers and £21.30 for diesel.

Clare Francis consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: "It's no surprise cash strapped motorists are seeking out cheaper petrol prices. The cost of fuel accounts for a huge proportion of household outgoings and with prices on the up many drivers are  doing all they can to spend as little as possible running their vehicle."

When asked what influenced their decision on where to buy fuel, motorists highlighted price as their main concern, cited by 84 per cent of respondents, followed by convenience (83 per cent).

Loyalty points were named by 56 per cent of motorists as having a major influence on their fuel choices, while brand name was fourth, with just 16 per cent citing this as a factor.

The report revealed the "tipping point" at which the quest for cheaper fuel becomes a false economy and starts costing motorists money. Travelling more than two miles for a 1p per litre saving makes the journey pointless, it indicated.

The benefit of saving 2p per litre is cancelled out by driving more than four miles. However, driving just one mile to pay 5p per litre less on fuel will give motorists a saving of £2.29 when filling a 50-litre tank.

Ms Francis added: "Drivers can find ways to cut back at the pumps by following a few basic tips to help reduce their consumption. Avoiding heavy braking, harsh accelerating or excessive speeding can reduce the amount of fuel you use significantly."