2018’s becoming an expensive time to hit the road, particularly if you’re travelling regularly for work.

Petrol prices are at a 4-year high right now, averaging a little over £1.30 per litre. Diesel’s even worse, at close to £1.33 per litre. Of course, if you’re out on the motorways when you fill up, the outlook could be even bleaker.

Motorway service operators are getting away with ramping up prices to what Transport Secretary Chris Grayling recently called “exploitative” levels.

How can I save money on petrol costs?

There are a few ways you can ease the pain of feeding your vehicle, from petrol station loyalty cards to cashback schemes on certain credit cards.

It you’re still feeling car-sick at the prices you’re paying, you might want to take a look at your vehicle itself. Bringing down the weight you’re carrying, reducing the drag or even switching off things like air conditioning can all help make your car more fuel-efficient. Keeping to the speed limit works, too. You might think you’re saving cash by shaving down your road time, but it turns out the opposite’s true. In fact, WhatCar? reports that travelling at 80mph actually burns 25% more fuel than going at a safer 70mph.

Speaking of fuel efficiency, let’s take a look at the MPG figures of RIFT customers’ favourite cars, taking both city and non-city mileage into account:

  • Ford Focus: 45-81mpg combined.
  • Ford Fiesta: 46-74mpg combined.
  • Vauxhall Astra: 43-69mpg combined.
  • Volkswagen Golf: 54-59mpg combined.
  • Vauxhall Corsa: 44-51mpg combined.

Can I get a refund on fuel costs for work?

If you’re using your own vehicle for your work travel, or even just paying for the fuel yourself, price hikes can hit your wallet hard. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting back what you’re owed from the taxman. At the end of the day, the more you’re paying out, the more you’re owed back.

Check if you're owed tax back by using our free tax refund calculator to get an instant estimate of how much cash you could be owed.

Can I get a tax refund for travel if my work pays my mileage?

Remember that, even if you’re getting some of your travel costs back from your boss, you might still be owed cash by HMRC. Unless you’re getting the full Approved Mileage Allowance Payment rate, you’re still leaving money on the taxman’s table by not claiming. Standard AMAP rates for cars and vans are 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in a year, then 25p per mile after that. There are different rules and rates for other vehicles and company cars, though. Talk to RIFT to make sure you know what you should be getting.

How can RIFT help me claim a tax refund?

Fuel prices change often, so it’s always best to track your expenses on the day you pay them. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll end up losing out when your refund arrives. Luckily, your MyRIFT account makes keeping the score simple. You can even do it right from your phone (just not while you’re driving, obviously). MyRIFT even has a direct connection with the DVLA, taking all the hassle out of recording the vehicles you’re using for work.

RIFT customers are serious road users, clocking up 1386 miles per month. That’s a lot of petrol left to burn before we all abandon fossil fuels in 2040. We’re already seeing our first refund claims for hybrid cars coming in, though. Even when petrol and diesel go the way of the dinosaur, the taxman will still be clinging onto your cash. Talk to RIFT about getting the wheels turning on your tax rebate.