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More on rising fuel costs

I filled up with fuel at the weekend and to my horror my turbo charged VW Eos demands 98 RON fuel and I paid a staggering $1.67 per litre! Since when did premium unleaded become 17cents more than normal unleaded?!

When 98RON fuel was first introduced it was around 6 cents a litre more than the standard stuff and fuel was around $1.15 per litre. So can anyone tell me what justification there is for this massive hike? Or is it just another example for the Oil companies taking us for a ride. Yes, there are more and more high performance cars demanding higher octane fuel, so are the Oil companies seizing on this to make even more profits? Surely not? They wouldn’t would they?

However, on the day, even normal unleaded was $149.9 per litre, albeit ‘down’ to $1.38 today and we are told that the situation in the Middle East, particularly Libya will see these numbers head towards $1.60 in the near future, making my fuel $1.77 per litre! Where will it all end? Remember our dollar is at near record levels against the US$, so if that went down as well we would be very quickly near the $2 mark. Our friends in New Zealand are already paying over NZ$2 per litre, so don’t think it won’t happen here.

What can you do about it?

Well, you can ditch the gas guzzling 6 or 8 cylinder, if you haven’t already, and do what the vast majority of us are doing now, drive a car with an engine smaller than 2 litres. The Poms have been doing this for 25 years. A 2 litre car is a big engine there, mind you there fuel is already well over $2 per litre and has been for some time.

You can ditch you existing high performance turbo 2 litre and buy something even more frugal and smaller, like a Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Alto or, dare I say, a Toyota Prius (don’t do it!). Actually all manufacturers are hell bent on reducing fuel economy and some of the new cars have previously unheard-of of  fuel economy figures, down into the 4 litres per 100 klms, approaching 70 miles per gallon on the old scale.

Buy a modern diesel car, you will get fantastic economy and torquey performance without the rattle of a London cab, and better resale than its petrol equivalent, believe it or not.

How about driving more frugally? Now there’s an idea! A few simple tips will save you a fortune:

Keep your tyre pressures up. Low tyre pressures not only reduce tyre life, but increase fuel economy dramatically.

Take your golf clubs out of the boot, unless you are actually on the way to or from the golf course.

Take off from the lights smoothly; it is not a race and you will not get there any quicker, but you will save fuel if you accelerate smoothly. Look ahead and anticipate speed changes rather than hurtling up to the next traffic jam and slamming on the brakes. You will be amazed how much fuel you will save.

There are other tips as well, I think they are best noted on the NRMA site here

Like it or not, I think these levels of fuel costs are here to stay, China and India’s thirst for oil, a reduction in supply, the Middle East crisis all point towards prices going up, so it is best to get used to it and do something about your personal fuel costs. Oh and you may even help the environment as well as your wallet!


  1. Sylvia says:

    Hi Donna,

    I’m sure you mean that car manufacturers are trying to increase fuel economy and not decrease it. But don’t worry, we all get your drift – and I agree, the difference between 98 octane and regular unleaded is ridiculous. Don’t get my husband started!

    March 23rd, 2011 at 2:09 pm