Fuel The Biggest Hit to Aussie Pockets as Inflation Rises

An estimated 12.4 million Australians cite fuel prices as their greatest concern to rising costs of living

Last updated on August 2nd, 2022 at 05:13 pm by Adrian Edlington

Savvy’s 2022 survey of 1005 Aussies learns how rising fuel prices are affecting the cost of living in Australia.

  • 64% of survey respondents say fuel costs are of “greatest concern” to cost of living
  • 73% of 18–24-year-old cohort report fuel costs are their greatest concern
  • 22% spend $61-$90 per week on fuel
  • 51% of respondents said they would need to change driving behaviour to compensate
Rising Fuel Prices in Australia - cover image

The latest nationally representative survey on the cost of living in Australia by Savvy has revealed 64% of respondents (n=1,005) say that rising fuel costs are their greatest concern – more so than the cost of food, utilities, and rent/mortgages.

73% of the 18–24-year-old cohort of the survey (n=111) said rising fuel prices was their greatest concern. This was followed by the 55–64-year-old demographic (69%) and the 25–34-year-old demographic (66%).

If extrapolated to the entire Australian population over the age of 18, this means 12.4 million Australians are most afraid of rising petrol prices stretching already overextended household budgets.

Rising fuel prices in Australia infographic
If fuel prices remain at new highs or continue to increase even further, how will you respond?

The Stats on Fuel

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, national average retail petrol prices rose 84% between February 20th and March 20th, prompting the Federal Government to halve the fuel excise from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents per litre for the next six months from the 30th of March, 2022.

As of writing, the national average fuel price is 178.2 cents per litre. The national average was at 138.2 cents per litre at the same time last year, with the full excise included.

32% of those surveyed say they already spend $31-60 per week on fuel; 22% spend $61-90, and 13% spend $91-120.

Fuel and petrol is the biggest concern when it comes to cost of living increases
How much Australians usually spend on fuel per week table

What We’re Doing to Combat Rising Fuel Prices

According to the survey, 51% of Australians will simply change their behaviour or drive less – which may be viable for some but not others, thanks to shifts toward work from home arrangements.

Bill Tsouvalas, CEO of Savvy says that fuel price rises will disproportionately disadvantage blue collar workers over white-collar workers – particularly younger apprentices. 

36% of people said they’ll be looking for discounts using apps; 26% said they’ll use public transport more frequently. Others again said they would consider buying a smaller engine car, hybrid or EV

Bill Tsouvalas, Savvy Managing Director & personal finance expert;

“Tradespeople and those who work outdoors are reliant on their ute or car to turn a profit or make their weekly wages,” he says. “This will just add to the woes of the working class who are already feeling the brunt of rising grocery costs. “The survey says that thirty percent of respondents said they’ll just ‘absorb’ the increase. Tradespeople do not have that luxury.”

“The rise in fuel costs, coupled with rising grocery and utility costs will hit families hard, and people will want some sort of relief.” Tsouvalas says. “But with the current upwards trend in the cost of living, I’m unsure respite is around the corner this year.”

This information is general in nature and not a substitute for professional financial advice.

For more information, contact Adrian Edlington – [email protected]


  1. Savvy – April 2022 Cost of Living Survey 
  2. https://www.aip.com.au/pricing/pump-prices

About Savvy

Savvy is one of Australia’s largest online financial brokers, focusing on personal and commercial financial products. Founded in 2010, the firm has seen rapid growth, a testament to their provision of market leading rates and reaching customers with the latest in media and technology. Savvy is a proud supporter of Kids Under Cover, a charity assisting homeless and at-risk youth to strengthen their bonds to community and education. Savvy was named one of BRW’s fastest growing companies in 2015.