3 tips on how to choose which petrol stations to use

By ValuePenguin.sg

Petrol prices have been surging in Singapore as of late. According to Global Petrol Prices, a liter of petrol averaged S$2.01 in Singapore during the last week of February, 2017. This is up from S$1.96 in January 2017 and S$1.91 during November 2016. While this level of petrol prices is low relative to 2015 or 2013, it still represents a 5% increase in petrol prices in just 3-4 months, a meaningful spike in cost of living for Singaporeans.

As such, consumers must be careful when they are trying to decide where to fill up their cars. But does it really matter which petrol station you should visit? Below, we analyze different aspects of the 4 main petrol companies in Singapore, and help you narrow down your decision making process. With this, you can be confident that you are not losing out on additional savings by driving the extra few blocks to a different petrol stations.

Petrol Prices

As of 21 Feb 2017, prices for 92 and 95 octane petrol were similar across the 4 companies, though Shell does not provide a 92 octane product. These prices below represent the "gross" price that you see being advertised at the pumps, and does not take into account any discounts. In terms of diesel or 98 Octane, SPC seems to have the cheapest price by a slight margin.

Petrol Prices in S$/L as of 2/21/2017 Diesel 92 Octane 95 Octane 98 Octane
Caltex 1.45 2.07 2.11 2.52
SPC 1.42 2.07 2.11 2.41
Shell 1.49 N/A 2.11 2.47
Esso 1.49 2.07 2.11 2.5

You should note, however, that the observations above are not always consistent. For instance, as of beginning of December 2016, SPC had a very slight lead in terms of its petrol prices across the board. What we do find, however, is that the variation in pricing across the 4 companies is quite minimal, and that you can't go wrong with filling up your tank any one of them. Then, what matters most is 1) station's location (proximity to you) and 2) further discounts you can earn through loyalty programs as well as credit cards.

Petrol Prices in S$/L as of 12/12/2016 Diesel 92 Octane 95 Octane 98 Octane
Caltex 1.26 2.03 2.07 2.44
SPC 1.23 2.00 2.04 2.35
Shell 1.32 2.07 2.42
Esso 1.28 2.03 2.07 2.42

Station Locations

The first thing you should think about when deciding which petrol station to visit is the proximity of the station to your location. This matters because you want minimize the amount petrol you waste going to and from petrol stations, and also want to be able to get the best prices as well as earn discounts with your credit cards at the most convenient location possible.

In order to ensure this, you should try to make sure you have the same petrol company's station near both your home and your office (or other locations you frequently visit on a weekly basis). According to each company's websites, Shell has the most number of stations available in Singapore with a total of 57 stations. SPC ranked #2 with 40 stations, followed by Esso with 35 locations. Caltex had the least number of stations with 26, and perhaps is attempting offset compensate for this with a lower price, as we mentioned in the previous section. Included in our table below is the link to each company's store locator, so you can see which company's stations are the closest to you.

Petrol Company # of Stations
Shell 57
SPC 40
Esso 35
Caltex 26

Earning Petrol Discounts with Credit Cards

The final step in finding the best petrol station for you is getting the right credit card with petrol discounts. Several banks in Singapore have set up partnerships with petrol companies in order to provide discounts on petrol expenditures. This way, both banks and petrol companies can encourage some loyalty among consumers who may choose to exclusively get petrol at a specific station, and use a specific credit card to do so.

The good news is that these petrol credit cards can actually be extremely rewarding. In our view, the below 4 credit cards in Singapore offer the biggest savings on petrol. For instance, Citi Cashback Card is offering a 20.88% discount on petrol at Esso and Shell stations. Together with its 8% cashback on dining and grocery bills, it is one of the best credit cards one can use on a daily basis. If you are interested in finding out more about the best credit cards to use, you can visit ValuePenguin's analysis of the best petrol credit cards in Singapore.

Credit Card Petrol Discounts Main Benefits
Citi Cashback Card Up to 20.88% at Esso & Shell 8% cash rebate on dining & groceries
UOB One Card Up to 24% at Shell and SPC Up to 5% flat rate cash back on all expenses
OCBC 365 Card Up to 23.9% at Caltex, 18.3% at Esso 6% cash back on dining, 3% on groceries, telco and online shopping
HSBC Platinum Visa Card Up to 21% discount from Caltex & Shell 5% rebate on groceries, monthly recurring bills and 2% on dining

This article was first published at ValuePenguin.sg

This entry was posted in Finance.
This entry was posted in Finance.