18 March 2022

High fuel prices result in changing habits

Driving less or switching to electric? How far will you go to decrease your fuel bill?

Struggling to afford to fill your car? You’re not alone.

We surveyed 390 Consumer NZ supporters on how the rising petrol prices are affecting them.

Of those surveyed, 81% report that they are driving less because of rising fuel prices. And when they do drive, they’ve changed how they do so. 41% have started watching their air-con use, 39% are trying to drive more smoothly and 34% are reducing their speed, while 12% of respondents say they’ve started carpooling.

A third of the people surveyed are considering making the switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle to save money on fuel. Many consumers were leaning towards EVs as their next vehicle of choice prior to the high fuel prices too.

Person putting petrol in their car.

Long gone are the days of a full tank; 66% of respondents have changed the way they fill their vehicle at the pump. Instead, many are opting for small top-ups, as and when they need it. Though 37% say they try to fill up the tank when they’re able to, anticipating further price rises on the horizon.

Our survey also shows many New Zealanders are willing to go out of their way to find a cheaper gas price, but only so far.

A third would be willing to travel up to 10km out of their way to get cheaper fuel while 38% would travel only up to 5km out of their way. However, 10% would be willing to go more than 10km in order to top up their tanks for a lower price.

On 14 March the government announced its cost of living relief package, including cutting fuel taxes by 25¢ a litre and halving public transport fares for the next three months in response to the global energy crisis.

Source: Consumer NZ Fuel Price Poll; 12-16 March 2022, n=390 respondents.

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B A S.
16 Apr 2022
EVs not really a saving

if you spend $50,000 say on a used Tesla when you could have bought a good 2nd hand ICE for around $30,000. Even today you can buy a lot of petrol for $20,000 and some Japanese cars will be trouble free for many years. EVs when they fail can cost huge amounts to repair.

David K.
27 Mar 2022
EVs are definitely the way to go!

My wife commutes 60km to work 4 days a week in our 7 year old Nissan Leaf. It has now done over 100,000 and over the 2.5 years we have owned it we believe we have saved over $8,000 by switching to electric. Over that time the drop in range has been minimal and we use it daily for all local trips. A second hand EV can easily pay for itself in savings in a few years.

I am in my mid 60s and also cycle for many short trips, and by taking panniers can even do the supermarket shopping on my bicycle. Not only is it good for my health, but it is very cheap to run.

Paul S.
23 Mar 2022
Owning an EV could be for you

Owning an EV isn't for everyone, but there are many people for who it could be, and one of them could be you.

We've owned an EV for over 3 years, and over the past month, rising fuel prices haven't affected us directly, so our driving habbits haven't changed. We also have solar, so we've only spent 96c on power since mid February and have driving over 2,000km.

EVs are seen as being expensive, have short range, and need the battery replaced after 5 years.
- Yes new EVs are expensive, but a used one might be within budget.
- Range is all down to how you plan on using it. If it's going to be a second car for local trips of less than 100km, then an older Leaf is an option. If like us you want to drive Wellington to Auckland, then even an EV with 230km of range is an option, giving you 2 hours of driving before you need to stop to charge and take a rest break for 15-20 mins.
- No, EV batteries don't need to be replaced after 5 years. There are 11 year old Nissan Leafs still driving around on their original battery, yes they have no where near the range they had when they were new, but 60km is suitable for some people. Modern EVs from the past 5 years have improved battery technology and can last for longer. For example our 5 year old Ioniq 28kWh has done 83,000km and still has the same range that it had when new.

Neville M.
22 Mar 2022
Gaspy App is a must

I will go 10km out of my way because I will use most of the tank before refuelling. But apart from this I have not changed much else.

Linda C.
20 Mar 2022
Check around for cheaper fuel ... YES!

I got put onto GASPY a while ago - doing out of town trips and having to fill up in unfamiliar places there was often quite a $$ diff in a few kms. Now around town just before the last big hike, I found a service station that was 20c/lt cheaper than my local - filled up instead of topped up for a change, and next day HUGE price rise (before govt stepped in...) It depends on the per litre saving how far it is worth going, but sometimes you can just take a different route and not add many kms for substantial savings. I've also cut down on trips, and try to combine say a visit to a relative with supermarket shopping.

Ken J H.
20 Mar 2022
Fuel Prices.

I think it is ridiculous to go out of the way to get cheaper fuel. The amount saved will be lost by having to use extra fuel to get the savings. But all this begs the question. What are people going to do when there is no more oil at the turn of the century in 70 or 80 years time. There is ample evidence for this in the literature. The International Energy Agency in France has stated the we have already passed the peak of oil production some years ago. The last time the more new oil fields were discovered in a year than oil was used in a year was in the 1960.