Worried about the rising cost of petrol or home heating oil? A new “risk management” service called FuelBeater.com (01442 355020) offers protection against price hikes.
How does it work? Users pay an upfront premium to cap the cost of their expected fuel consumption over the next six months. This “hedging” premium typically amounts to £30 to £60 for drivers and is equal to about 3p a litre. If the fuel price over a month then averages more than the price fixed at the outset, FuelBeater pays the cost difference. Last year, this could amount to £20 a month, it claims.
What’s not covered? Importantly, the protection does not cover the overall retail cost, only the crude oil price — which is currently about 34p a litre. So users earn when underlying fuel costs rise, as measured by the international Gasoil price, rather than when fuel duty or VAT rise or retailers decide to up their profit margins.
How else can I save? Petrolprices.com is a free website for finding the cheapest petrol station in any given postcode.
The site reckons that prices can vary by 10 per cent in local areas.