DRIVERS are facing some welcome relief as fuel prices drop below 175p per litre this weekend.
But there might be a way to save an extra 5p per litre with major supermarket loyalty schemes.
Petrol prices are down from 179.80p a litre for petrol a week ago, and 185.9p for diesel.
The AA said costs will fall below 175p this weekend and could drop by a further 15p in coming weeks.
But, thanks to the ongoing war in Ukraine, costs are still significantly higher than they were a year ago – when petrol averaged 135.3p a litre, and diesel 135.56p.
But major forecourt operators and supermarkets offer membership cards, although perks vary depending on which one you use.
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Bear in mind that you can often make bigger savings by hunting out the cheapest forecourt on the day.
So don't stick to one operator just because you've signed up to their scheme.
However, the loyalty programmes are free to join, so you're not losing out by signing up and using it when you can.
You can find the cheapest petrol or diesel by using a service such as the Petrol Prices app or Confused.com.
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Which operators offer loyalty schemes?
We've listed a few below for you to choose from.
Esso has partnered with Nectar for its loyalty scheme and you can get 5p off a litre when you swap 300 Nectar points.
This could be the best choice if you already regularly collect Nectar points, for example when you shop at Sainsbury's.
The way you collect Nectar points depends on which retailer you're shopping with.
At Sainsbury's you can collect one point for every £1 spent.
That means if you spent £300 at Sainsbury's, you could use those points to get 5p off a litre at Esso.
You have to fill up with a minimum of 10 litres to get the discount.
You can get a Nectar card online and find a list of Esso petrol stations here.
Drivers with a BPme rewards card will get one point for every £1 they spend in store or on a litre of regular fuel at a BP garage.
You'll get two points for every litre of the more expensive Ultimate fuel.
Motorists will get £1 off their fuel or shopping for every 200 points.
That means you'll need to spend £200 on regular fuel or shopping to get a £1 discount.
Restrictions apply, for example you can't earn points on cigarette purchases, so it's worth reading the small print.
You can find all of the details on the BP website, as well as a map of it's forecourts.
Texaco members can save 1p per litre of fuel with its Star Rewards scheme.
You'll get one point for every litre of fuel you buy, and you'll get £5 off when you hit 500 points.
Customers can choose to use their points on fuel or to spend it on discounts with Texaco partners Love2Shop.
You can find your nearest Texaco forecourt here and sign up for Star Rewards online.
Motorists can sign up to Shell Go to get money off at the operator's forecourts.
You'll get money off fuel for every 10th visit you make – but Shell doesn't specify exactly what the discount will be.
The Sun has asked for more detail on this and we'll update the story when we hear back – but do call up or ask in the station if you're not sure.
A visit is defined as spending at least £2 in the shop or £10 on fuel.
If you choose Shell V-Power, it's premium petrol, you'll get an extra £3 off every 300 litres you buy.
Use the Shell website to find a forecourt near you.
You can collect and spend Nectar points at fuel stations.
You will get one point for every £1 spent at Sainsbury's or for every two spent at one of the supermarket's fuel stations.
You will get £2.50 for every 500 Nectar points.
But you can't spend these coupons at pay at pump fuel stations, you will have to go into the kiosk to redeem your points.
Visit the Sainsbury's website to find your nearest store and use the filters to display the ones with petrol stations.
Tesco Clubcard members can use their points to get money off fuel at the supermarket's forecourts.
You collect one point for every £1 you spend at Tesco, or one point for ever £2 you spend on fuel.
You'll get a £1.50 voucher for every 150 points you get, which can be used on fuel as well as groceries and days out.
You can sign up for a Clubcard on the Tesco website, where you can also search for your nearest petrol station.
How else can I cut down on fuel?
There are plenty of ways to cut your petrol costs through little-known hacks.
For starters, you can drive more efficiently. This can mean:
- Accelerate gradually without over-revving
- Always drive on the highest possible gear
- If you can, allow your car to slow down naturally as your brake is a money burner
- Re-starting your car is expensive, so keep that in mind
Always think about keeping your tyres inflated too – underinflated tyres can cause a vehicle to use up to 10% more fuel.
Read here for a smart hack on how to avoid flat tyres.
It's also so easy to forget about the clutter building up in your car – whether it's tools, kids' toys or general rubbish. But it turns out additional storage space can increase fuel costs by a whopping 12%.
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So, don't forget to do a car clear out every now and then.
And, if you're driving at a slower speed, think about taking the roof rack off and switching off air con to save on running costs.
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