Around this time last year, we wrote about the 4-year high in petrol and diesel costs we were seeing, with prices of £1.30 per litre and £1.33 per litre, respectively. Well, a report on this year’s prices has now come out from RAC Fuel Watch, and it’s still making for pretty grim reading for the UK’s daily road users.

After 4 months of consistently rising prices, there was a slight easing off in June this year. Despite that drop, though, average costs are still currently sitting at 129.21p per litre for petrol and 131.95p per litre for diesel. So, for a typical family car you’re looking at around £71.07 to fill up with petrol and £72.57 for diesel drivers.

There are several reasons for this, ranging from the falling value of the pound to an increase in wholesale prices. Now, with experts already predicting that fuel costs could continue to soar, it’s worth putting some thought into how you can limit the damage to your wallet.

How to boost fuel efficiency

For one thing, you can boost the fuel efficiency of your car in some surprisingly simple ways. You can dump any excess weight, from roof racks to general clutter. If you can stand the heat, consider rolling down a window rather than cranking up the air conditioning, too.

Even keeping to the speed limit can help bring down your fuel bills. Going faster might sound like good sense when you’re trying to limit your road time, but it’s not just dangerous and illegal – it’s also less fuel efficient. Blazing along at 80mph actually burns 25% more fuel than a steady 70mph.

Shopping around

It’s worth noting that we’re talking about average fuel prices here, which means it’s definitely worth shopping around if you can. In fact, you can even use phone apps like PetrolPrices to do the digital legwork for you. For standard petrol cars, the app’s makers reckon you can save well over £200 a year just by tracking down the best deals – or close to £500 a year if you run on super unleaded!

Another thing to look out for is the occasional special offer. For the next couple of weeks, for example, Tesco is running a promotion offering a voucher scheme worth 10p per litre if you’re spending £60 in the store or online. The scheme’s running until the 25th of August, with the vouchers being valid for 2 weeks after you get them.

Tax Refunds and fuel costs

Obviously, with fuel prices on the rise it’s more important than ever that you keep your tax refund records up to date. With essential costs like work travel, the more you spend in a year the more you’re owed back by HMRC. The standard AMAP rates mean you can claim back 45p per mile of work travel you make in a car or van, for the first 10,000 miles you travel. After that, the rate drops to 25p per mile. With a typical RIFT customer clocking up well over 16,500 miles a year, you’re only robbing yourself if you don’t claim back what you’re owed.

Fuel prices often change day-to-day, so it’s best to track your expenses as you make them. If you’ve already got a MyRIFT account, this is really simple – but however you do it, accurate records are the key to getting the most from your refund.

Talk to RIFT about getting the wheels turning on your tax refund claim. Wherever your work takes you, you’re better off with RIFT.