The government fuel subsidy has been cut, potentially adding over $15 to the cost of filling a 60L tank

illustration of man tackling a graph of increasing petrol prices after government subsidy ends

With pandemic-driven supply chain issues and the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine, the price of petrol skyrocketed alarmingly fast in 2021. Fuel saw a CPI hike of 11% in March 2022 alone - the highest rate increase since the 1990 Gulf War.

In order to take some of the budgetary pressure off of everyday Australians, the government introduced a fuel excise reduction, cutting the cost of petrol.

This discount is came to an end on 28 September, which is predicted to see fuel prices rise by 25.3 cents per litre when considering GST and indexation. This change is not expected to be instant, as any fuel already at petrol stations has been purchased under the previous rates, but is something we can expect to see gradually taking its toll on our wallets.

With the excise reinstated, the price of filling up will increase by approximately:

  • $10.12 for a 40L tank
  • $15.18 for a 60L tank
  • $20.24 for an 80L tank

Worryingly, Mozo’s research found that 15% of Australians feel they won’t be able to afford the price increase and are planning to decrease their driving time significantly.

Also concerningly, 32% are planning to cut back on discretionary spending to make room in their budget, while 16% say they will need to dip into their savings to cover the additional petrol cost.

To help Australians manage the price increase, Mozo has come up with 5 tips for saving money at the petrol pump.

5 top tips for cutting costs when the petrol excise returns

While the increase may seem small, the extra cost will still impact everyday Aussies, particularly after the news of a further rate hike by the RBA. But before you pull budget money from other places, it could be worthwhile getting creative about the ways you can save at the petrol pump.

1. Use apps to seek out the lowest price - Utilise apps to compare fuel prices and plan when to fill up. Drivers in NSW, WA, TAS & NT can take advantage of government fuel check apps, while those in QLD and SA will need to use third-party apps. The state government in VIC and ACT do not currently collect this data or provide resources.

NSW CommBank customers can also check out the new Fuel Finder tool, which follows your spending patterns to predict when you may next need to refuel. It then reminds you ahead of time about the cheapest option nearby.

2. Lock in the price ahead of time - Some fuel retailers like 7/11 allow customers to lock in petrol prices ahead of time. If you're in a suburb where petrol is cheaper but are not in the position to fill up, locking in a lower price could see you reduce the cost of your next tank.

3. Stay on the lookout for drastic price jumps - The ACCC are monitoring retailers during this period, as petrol stations could very well use it as an excuse to jack up their prices. If you are thinking about filling up but suspect you're getting ripped off, you might very well be - look into other prices in the area, and consider reporting retailers who take advantage.

4. Take advantage of discount vouchers - Aussies should remember to look at the back of grocery receipts before throwing them out, with some bigger retailers, like Coles and Woolworths, including discounts for their partnered petrol outlets. Alternatively, some store rewards cards or memberships can also come with discounts and other special benefits for partnered petrol stations.

5. Clear out the car boot - Carrying around a heavy load in your car boot will require your car to work harder, and ultimately use more petrol. Drivers should regularly make time to clean the junk out of cars to improve fuel efficiency.

If it does come time for a new car, you might want to consider the long-term benefits of switching over to a hybrid or electric vehicle - the ultimate way to save on petrol is to stop buying it!

For more info on fuel prices and tips on saving on everyday expenses, head to Mozo’s cost of living hub.