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Save $14 at the bowser: How to find the cheapest petrol

Man holding petrol pump at fuel station
Petrol prices are surging but you can still get a cheaper deal if you shop around. (Source: Reuters)

Petrol prices are tipped to reach an all-time high of $2 per litre as the conflict in Ukraine and other factors drive up prices.

In flood-affected parts of the country, motorists are struggling to find a functioning bowser at all.

Road closures and other disruptions caused by the floods mean many towns have been left without fuel and other critical supplies.

While flood victims are advised to fill up wherever it's safe to do so, motorists in other locales can shop around.

Compare the Market spokesperson Sarah Orr said in Brisbane today there was a 28-cent difference between the highest and lowest-priced fuel.

“So that could save you about $14 if you are to fill up a 50-litre tank,” she said.

She said it was obviously not a good situation for consumers at the moment, with fuel prices in Australia only expected to surge in line with skyrocketing global prices.

“But if you strike at the right time, there's certainly value in shopping around,” she said.

“If you go to the same station that you use every week, it probably isn't going to always have the best price on the market.”

The good news is motorists don’t need to prowl the streets for the lowest prices: there are a plethora of apps out there to help people snag the best deal.

Government apps and databases

Some states and territories have mandatory fuel prices databases, including the New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory governments.

The information you’ll find on these databases is considered very trustworthy, according to consumer protection organisation Choice.

If you live in NSW, the state government has launched a NSW FuelCheck app, which allows you to plug in your postcode and find the price of fuel at nearby stations.

Other apps

For people living in other states, there are several other apps that track fuel prices. However, these apps tend to rely on crowdsourced data, so are less reliable than the government databases.

The NRMA has an app called My NRMA (you can also use it to contact roadside assist when your car breaks down). Comparison website Compare the Market also has a petrol price app.

Petrol Spy Australia and Fuel Map Australia are some other options.

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