If you go out of your way to find that fuel bargain, you won’t be alone. But how far can you travel before the hunt for the holy grail of cheap petrol or diesel starts to cost you? Fuel cost comparison website Petrolprices.com claims the lowest price for regular unleaded in my area is £1.22 a litre. The average is £1.25. Assuming a £45 fill up, I’d get 36.88 litres from the cheaper outlet, 36 litres at the average priced one. That’s a difference of 0.193 of a gallon, or in a 45mpg car, 8.68 miles.
So I could go just under nine miles out of my way before it starts costing more than it’s going to save me. Of course, the more economical my car, and the greater the cost differential, the more miles I can drive. I have nine fuel stations within five miles of my house, so chances are, picking the cheapest should save me money. The amount, however, is disappointingly low. If I’m covering 10,000 miles a year in my 45mpg car, the difference between £1.22 per litre and £1.25 is only £30.30 over 12 months. Still, I’d rather that was in my pocket than a fuel station’s till.