Auckland fuel tax: How to save a buck amid a 10 cent per litre price rise

New Transport Minister Phil Twyford made a splash on his first official day in the role, announcing a 10 cent per litre tax on petrol in Auckland is just "four or five months" away.

The levy will contribute about $1.5 billion over the course of the next decade, money that will be used to remedy Auckland's fledgling public transport system.

But swarms of Aucklanders have taken news of the tax pretty hard - so here are some ways to get round it so you won't even notice the additional spend.

Go for a drive

This may sound counter-intuitive, but it might be worth a bit of a drive to get savings on fuel.

Caltex told Newshub that you'd be in the minority if you actually based your choice of petrol station on price rather than convenience - but shifting your priorities could reap dividends.

If you're one of those that would consider trekking out to far-reaching locations just to avoid paying over the odds, you can save quite a decent amount.

Auckland fuel tax: How to save a buck amid a 10 cent per litre price rise

This is a particularly worthwhile prospect for those who work or live in downtown Auckland or near the airport, where prices on 91 Octane are the most expensive at about the $2/litre mark.

BP Fanshawe St is the priciest, at $2.04/litre. A spokesperson for the company says local operating costs and cost of product, shipping costs, taxes, and the exchange rate all play a role in it being as expensive as it is.

A drive from there to Gull Onehunga, where fuel is a comparatively low $1.66/litre, takes 20 minutes with no traffic, saving you a whopping 38 cents based on current pricing. The two Z Energy stations at the airport are only 13 minutes' drive away.

If your car has a 50L fuel tank, that'd mean a saving just shy of $20 - not too shabby.

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 you heaps and offers you potential rewards, if you're willing to help update fuel prices yourself.

Buy your fuel at Gull

We promise - this is not sponsored content.

But Gull owns, by far and away, the cheapest of all petrol companies' service stations.

Seriously, the 12 cheapest petrol stations across Auckland are all owned by them.

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.

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.

Research fuel savings

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 6 cents off a 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.

Quit whining

Regardless of what you make of the Auckland fuel tax, New Zealand's largest city has still got it pretty sweet compared to the rest of the country.

In Auckland, we currently spend an average of $1.86/litre on petrol and once the regional fuel tax of 10c/litre is implemented, that will see it rise to about $1.96.

While that would make Auckland one of the most expensive regions in the upper and central North Island, it'd still be doing much better than every region from Wellington down.

Auckland fuel tax: How to save a buck amid a 10 cent per litre price rise
Photo credit: Gaspy

Take West Coast locals for instance, who pay an astronomical average of $2.23 per litre for 91 Octane - while Otago, Wellington, Canterbury and Nelson also sit above the $2/litre mark.

So while the levy is by no means great news for the wallet, just remember - it could be worse.