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3 Tips on How to Choose Which Petrol Stations to Use

3 Tips on How to Choose Which Petrol Stations to Use

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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.

3 Tips on How to Choose Which Petrol Stations to Use

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 2/21/2017Diesel92 Octane95 Octane98 Octane
Caltex1.452.072.112.52
SPC1.422.072.112.41
Shell1.49N/A2.112.47
Esso1.492.072.112.5

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 12/12/2016Diesel92 Octane95 Octane98 Octane
Caltex1.262.032.072.44
SPC1.232.002.042.35
Shell1.322.072.42
Esso1.282.032.072.42

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, Esso has the most number of stations available in Singapore with a total of 62 stations. Shell was a close #2 with 57 stations, followed by SPC with 40 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
Esso62
Shell57
SPC40
Caltex26

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 CardPetrol DiscountsMain Benefits
Citi Cashback CardUp to 20.88% at Esso & Shell8% cash rebate on dining & groceries
UOB One CardUp to 24% at Shell and SPCUp to 5% flat rate cash back on all expenses
OCBC 365 CardUp to 23.9% at Caltex, 18.3% at Esso6% cash back on dining, 3% on groceries, telco and online shopping
HSBC Platinum Visa CardUp to 21% discount from Caltex & Shell5% rebate on groceries, monthly recurring bills and 2% on dining
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ValuePenguin is personal finance company based in New York. DJ is responsible for building ValuePenguin’s presence in Asia, from researching personal finance topics in the region to building relationships with financial and media institutions. He previously worked as an investment analyst at leading hedge funds in New York including Cadian Capital and Tiger Asia. His expertise is in the global technology, consumer and financial industries. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in Economics, and speaks Korean, English and Mandarin Chinese.

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