The Slowdown in Car Sales
One of the main costs associated with owning a car is petrol. For that reason, it is important to check when buying a used car how economical it is. Since the 1970s, manufacturers have had to make public the fuel consumption of their cars, which is known as a car’s MPG (Miles Per Gallon). The more miles the car does to the gallon, the better. There are numerous calculators online to work out exactly how much a journey will cost be entering your car’s MPG, the current cost of fuel per litre and the distance of the journey. This is particularly helpful if you know you cover a certain amount of miles in a week (going to and from work for example) and want to work out how much money you will be spending on petrol per week.
The cost of petrol is constantly changing and is affected by a number of factors, the main one being the price of crude oil, which is refined to form petrol. It is the world’s most actively traded product and supply and demand dictates prices. If there is an increase in demand or something disrupts supply, then price is driven up. Most commonly, political instability leads to wars in oil producing countries that have an effect on the supply of crude oil to the world market, as well as natural disasters. Another factor that affects the frequent rise of fuel prices is the practice by oil companies of operating with lower stock levels in order to be more efficient. This means that if something happens that threatens the supply of crude oil and the oil companies do not have a large enough back up supply, oil prices inevitably rise.
Fuel tax is also a major contributor to the price of petrol and in the past has contributed to over 80% of the total cost of petrol. Although some of it goes towards road maintenance, it is a major source of revenue for the government.
The main types of fuel available are premium unleaded petrol, super unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG Autogas. It is very important to ensure you fill your car with the correct one; otherwise, you could seriously damage your car. Premium unleaded is the standard unleaded petrol, and, unless stated in your user manual, is suitable for almost all petrol engines. Super unleaded has a higher octane rating, which means that the fuel requires more pressure to ignite. Although all petrol cars can use super unleaded, it is an unnecessary added expense for most as only a small amount of high performance cars are actually able to benefit from the higher octane rating. High performance Japanese cars and others such as Porsches and Ferraris are the type of cars that will benefit from this more expensive unleaded petrol.