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
Published on May 3rd, 2022
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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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

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.

Savvy - April 2022 Cost of Living Survey 


AIP.com.au - Pump Prices

Additional Savvy Resources: 

Fuel Prices Australia - 2024 Survey 

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