At the start of 2021, the price of petrol was £1.16 per litre. During the last year alone, it rose to £1.46 per litre, becoming the most expensive it has ever been. 

That 30p quickly adds up, especially when you’re putting in a lot of mileage for work, so many people are feeling the squeeze. And for small businesses that rely on travel, the rising petrol prices could spell disaster. 

If you’ve found your small business spending too much on petrol these days, then it’s time to make a change by learning how to budget for rising petrol costs. 

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to save money when it comes to petrol:

  • Check your tire pressure
  • Choose your route carefully
  • Find the right vehicle for the job
  • Drive efficiently
  • Travel light
  • Combine your journeys
  • Service your vehicle
  • Turn off the gadgets

Check your tire pressure

Most people don’t think about tire pressure unless a blinking light in their car tells them to, but it can significantly affect your fuel efficiency. 

Every single psi below your car’s recommended tire pressure can reduce your fuel efficiency by 0.2%. It might not sound like much, but it’s a small change that can add up to a big difference with enough mileage.

Check your tire pressure regularly to ensure it’s at the recommended level. And take extra care if you live in a country with extreme temperatures – very hot or freezing temperatures can cause your tire pressure to change faster. 

Choose your route carefully

The shortest route on paper may not be the most fuel-efficient. Bumpy roads are less efficient than smooth roads because a lot of your energy will be dispersed by each bump and shake. Congested roads will lead to more time idling in traffic, burning fuel for no reason.

It might be difficult to assess for places that you’re unfamiliar with. But for familiar areas, try to find the smoothest roads and avoid traffic. . 

Drive efficiently 

As well as picking the correct route, the way you drive can also have a huge impact on your fuel consumption. 

It might take a while to change your habits, but sticking to these rules can save you a lot of money in the long run:

  • If you’re at a stand-still for more than ten seconds, turn your engine off rather than idling. A lot of modern cars do this for you automatically. 
  • Change gears at lower revs. 
  • Accelerate gradually – you’ll end up at the same speed anyway.  
  • Don’t brake too hard or corner too sharply. 
  • Don’t drive too fast – the faster you go, the more fuel you burn.

Find the right vehicle for the job

Powerful engines take more power to operate. If you don’t need that much power, it translates to wasted fuel. 

Consider switching to smaller vehicles for your daily commute, with smaller engines. Alternatively, you could look into buying an electric or hybrid vehicle. 

It doesn’t just apply to the commute. Companies that rely on vehicles for trade, like moving or shipping companies, can buy vehicles with different sized engines for different types of jobs. Longer, more difficult routes might need a larger engine, while shorter routes will be fine with a less powerful vehicle. 

Travel light

How much junk is in your car right now? It’s easy to let bits and pieces pile up in the back seat and boot, but you might be more inclined to get rid of it if you knew how much you were paying to carry it around. 

Luggage, car seats, or stacks of files from the office – just suck it up and take it out of your car if it doesn’t need to be there. 

Combine your journeys

When you stop using your car, it cools down. Then, it takes time to warm up and run at full efficiency when you start it again later. 

To counteract this, try to combine several trips into one. Rather than nipping out for an errand then going back to the office before heading out again, try to knock it all out in one round trip. 

Again, this will take a bit of planning, but it can save you a lot of money if you get into the habit. 

Service your vehicle

All the tips so far have been easy things you can do to budget for petrol costs, but there’s only so much you can do on your own without a professional opinion. 

Regular servicing will ensure everything in your vehicle is working at maximum efficiency, meaning you’ll waste less petrol through everyday use. 

Turn off the gadgets

Modern cars come with a range of fun gadgets, which cost fuel. 

The ones that make the biggest impact are temperature controls, like air-conditioning, heaters, and heated seats. If it’s too warm in the summer, opening your windows is fuel efficient at speeds up to around 30mph – any more, and you’ll produce enough drag to lower your fuel efficiency. 

In the colder months, the heaters are incredibly tempting. But try to turn them off after your car has had a chance to heat up. 

Keep an eye on your fuel budget with accounting software

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

With UK petrol costs at an all time high, it’s more important than ever to have accurate information about your business finances. The Countingup current account shows you real time cash flow data, and profit and loss projections, so you can keep a close eye on your fuel budget and see how it affects you long term. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Find out more here.