A new study by ME Bank has found a connection between bad fuel habits and bad money behaviours.

The survey of more than 1,000 Aussie drivers revealed one in four motorists admit to having bad fuel behaviours, like ignoring the petrol light, not filling up the whole fuel tank, or running out of fuel.

Australians with bad fuel habits were also less likely to display good money behaviours.

ME money expert Matthew Read said bad fuel habits could indicate you’re only focused on short-term benefits, not the bigger picture.

“If you’re someone who throws caution to the wind, ignoring your fuel light until it’s almost too late, there’s a pretty strong chance this type of behaviour extends to other parts of your life, including your money management. And the results confirm this,” Mr Read said.

“Like poor money management, bad fuel habits can be categorised as behaviour with short-term benefits, and relate to a sense of control and organisation. In the long-run, this type of behaviour can increase overall effort, stress and in some cases may end up costing you more.”

Petrol prices drive Aussies to ditch cars

The same survey also found that 79% of Aussie motorists are choosing alternative modes of transport because it’s getting too expensive to drive their car.

But leaving the car at home isn’t always the most practical solution as 41% of drivers are opting for the cheapest fuel instead as a way to keep their driving costs down.

Additionally, 82% use fuel vouchers to get discounts, but only 24% are using vouchers every time they fill up at the bowser.

When asked how far they would be willing to travel to get the best fuel price, 25% of motorists said they’d be willing to drive up to 10km for cheaper fuel.

Despite finding fuel expensive, 18% said they wouldn’t bother shopping around for a lower price.

The survey also found the costs associated with car servicing places a financial strain on 53% of car owners.

Of those who said they felt financially strained, 75% bite the bullet and service their car anyway, while 25% decided not to service their car because it was too expensive.

Mr Read warns doing so “might end up costing people more in the long-run if lack of maintenance turns into a big issue down the track”.

“Cars require ongoing maintenance, but it also doesn’t have to cost a bomb. There are ways to manage your spend, and it pays to be savvy about the way you maintain your vehicle and fill up your tank.”

Car subscriptions could be the answer to the costs of car ownership. Earlier this week, Hyundai announced it would be joining car subscription service Carly to allow motorists to subscribe to their vehicles.

Carly CEO Chris Noone said his car subscription platform is an alternative to saving for, leasing or borrowing money to buy a car and offers access to a range of new and used vehicles including insurance, registration and maintenance packaged into a single monthly payment with no long term commitments. 

“Subscribers can start, pause and stop their subscription and ‘switch’ cars as their needs change. This could be a short term switch to a vehicle more suitable for a holiday, a longer-term switch to cater for increasing family size, or pausing a subscription due to an extended holiday,” Mr Noone said.

Looking for a low rate fixed car loan? The table below displays some of the lowest fixed car loan rates on the market for used cars.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderCar LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Interest Type Vehicle Type Maximum Vehicle Age Ongoing Fee Upfront Fee Total Repayment Early Repayment Instant Approval Online Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
7.19% p.a.
8.31% p.a.
$597
Fixed
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,804
Approval within 24 hoursEarly payout available
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
6.69% p.a.
7.81% p.a.
$590
Fixed
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,379
Approval within 24 hours
  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
6.57% p.a.
7.19% p.a.
$588
Fixed
New
No Max
$0
$250
$35,278
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • Available for any new motorised vehicle
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
6.34% p.a.
8.36% p.a.
$585
Variable
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,084
7.29% p.a.
8.41% p.a.
$598
Fixed
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,889
7.99% p.a.
8.27% p.a.
$608
Fixed
New, Used
No Max
$0
$195
$36,489
7.19% p.a.
7.82% p.a.
$597
Fixed
New, Used
7 years
$0
$249
$35,804
No ongoing fees
8.27% p.a.
8.27% p.a.
$612
Fixed
New, Used
No Max
$0
$595
$36,731
7.95% p.a.
8.16% p.a.
$608
Fixed
New
5 years
$0
$150
$36,454
8.99% p.a.
9.33% p.a.
$623
Fixed
New, Used
7 years
$5
$0
$37,356
9.24% p.a.
9.86% p.a.
$626
Variable
New, Used
10 years
$5
$195
$37,575
9.49% p.a.
10.82% p.a.
$630
Fixed
New, Used
No Max
$9
$474
$37,795
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.