Cash-smart Tradies using these online tools to fight back against rising fuel costs

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
6 Min Read

Money-smart tradies are turning to fuel pricing apps as a savvy way to demolish increased penny-pinching at the pumps. 

Since Easter, the cost of fuel has once again begun edging close to – and above – the dreaded $2 per litre mark as Aussies continue to battle a cost-of-living crisis. 

A gradual spike in oil prices, now at their highest level in six months, has been blamed for the rise, with Sydney unleaded 91 fuel prices reaching a staggering $2.30 per litre as of Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the same fuel inside Melbourne’s CBD costs an average of $1.99 per litre, with prices in Brisbane at $1.89, Perth at $1.85, and Adelaide at $2.15. 

Diesel is similarly costly, with prices across Australia’s three largest cities, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, hovering just over $2 per litre, while Adelaide and Perth are a few cents cheaper. 

The fuel spike shows no sign of letting up any time soon with ANZ senior Commodity Strategist Daniel Hynes predicts tradies will be paying more at the pumps for weeks to come.   

“The price surge is set to continue for a number of weeks,” he said. 

“I think we will clearly see prices rise over the next few weeks I think they’ll probably be a one-to-two-week lag from the recent (oil price) rally.”

The pumped-up prices have triggered many tradies to download several popular fuel-monitoring applications, which track and locate the cheapest fuel prices in their area. 

How much can tradies really save?

Queensland-based carpenter Matt Curd told Build-it that he only filled up the work vehicle after checking prices online first, either using the web or fuel price comparison apps.

“There’s so much competition around you’ll always find one fuel station locally offering prices significantly less than everyone else,” he said. 

“It may only save $5 a time, but when you fill up several times a week by the end of the year, that’s easily close to a grand saved.” 

Many fuel comparison apps also show how fuel prices are trending, allowing users to decide whether now is the optimum time to refuel or wait for the weekend in hopes of cheaper prices.

“If I hear something on the news about petrol prices going up or down, I always check the price graph to see how things are trending unless I need fuel desperately,” Matt explained to Build-it.

“That’s another way to recoup on some of these price spikes.”

What are the best apps for tradies?

Apps such as Petrol Spy, Simple’s Compare & Save, MotorMouth, and Fuel Map Australia allow workers to pick and choose their pitstop from which service station offers the best value for money. 

Petrol Spy

The most popular fuel comparison app, Petrol Spy, allows users to compare real-time fuel prices by state or territory. Motorists can set notifications to be alerted when fuel prices are optimal or compare prices across neighbouring suburbs.

The Petrol Spy app showing comparative fuel prices across the Wollongong region.


Motormouth allows road users to filter through fuel prices from more than 4,000 petrol stations nationwide based on type and location. This user-run information source will enable drivers to update prices themselves while keeping track of detailed price history and accurate forecasting. 

The motormouth app uses colour coding to easily find the cheapest fuel nearby.

Fuel Map Australia 

Fuel Map is a crowd-sourced database of petrol stations and fuel prices across Australia. Users like yourself add and edit station information, and Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia fuel prices are provided via government resources. 

Fuel Map users can update prices themselves.

Simple’s Compare & Save 

This app allows users to compare local fuel prices and navigates them to the chosen station. It also can compare and other cost-saving options, such as insurance, energy, and home loans. 

More comparison apps a silver lining to rising fuel prices

Petrol prices and user numbers aren’t the only things rising this April. Some new fuel price comparison tools are also hitting the roads. 

The new Arevo app by RACV includes price alerts, allowing Victorian tradies to find better prices through a range of personalised notifications. 

The new feature alerts motorists whether prices are on the rise or fall and at what time it’s best to fill up at various locations along their daily commute.

RACV General Manager Mobility Julia Hunter said Arevo’s new fuel alerts software would help tradies find more cost-effective times to refuel, rather than waiting until the empty tanks.

“The Arevo fuel alerts are a really exciting innovation that will actively work to save users time and effort finding cheaper fuel options,” Ms Hunter said.

“If, like many people, you only think about fuel prices when your petrol tank is close to empty, Arevo will now be able to prompt you on the better time and location to fill up.” 

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.