How to avoid the oncoming fuel tax cataclysm

  • 28/06/2018

Fuel tax increases are set to burn a hole in motorists' pockets - but there are ways to escape the pain.

Auckland Council is introducing a regional fuel tax of 11.5 cents per litre from July 1.

It's not just drivers north of the Bombay Hills getting bad news, either.

At least 14 councils across the country have discussed the possibility of implementing a regional fuel tax - including the Christchurch City Council, Tauranga City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Hamilton City Council.

And it gets even worse.

The Government intends to increase fuel taxes between three cents and four cents a litre for each of the next three years. Add on GST and the extra total cost for motorists could approach 25 cents per litre.

With that in mind, here's a few tips for saving on your fuel costs.

1: Cycle around

Time to jump on the bike and test out the cycling network.

It is a great way to save on fuel and it comes with the added bonus of not having to deal with the stress of traffic.

And it's about to get even better. In Auckland, the Labour Party will commit up to $30 million to fund Skypath, the cycling and walking path across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The party also pledged money towards community funds to encourage the use of cycleways.

If you don't want to brave the winter cold, there's still public transport. Take the bus, the train, or even walk - you don't have to do it every day. Even just one or two days a week will save you money.

2: 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, then puts them in an easy-to-read list from cheapest to priciest.

Step 2: Look out for a Gull petrol station

We promise this is not an ad, but Gull is usually by far and away the cheapest of all petrol companies' service stations.

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.

That's why petrol in that area is generally cheaper than the rest of the country.

Step 3: Use fuel vouchers

There are myriad schemes from supermarkets, insurance firms and petrol companies that'll save you cash when you fuel up.

If you do your grocery shopping at Pak'nSave or New World, you can earn 6c per litre off at Mobil stations, while Countdown's AA Smartfuel Onecard allows you to save 3c per litre for every $100 you spend and 6c per litre for every $200.

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.