Monthly Archives: June 2008


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Ads on cars earn drivers extra cash

The Straits Times, Friday, June 27 2008
By Tessa Wong

“WALLOPED by rising fuel prices, Mr. Sankar Superamaniam has decided to fight back – by turning his car into a moving billboard.

The 26-year-old executive recently plastered his white Hyundai with ads for a local company that sells eco-friendly bags.

The deal nets him $100 a month, which has helped offset a fuel bill that has skyrocketed in the last half year.

He is among more than 220 drivers who have signed up with Renvertising, a local company launched in March that matches cost-conscious drivers with advertisers looking to avoid pricey billboards and newspaper ads.

Motorists need to sign contracts to carry the ads for three months a year. They must clock at least 500km a month to qualify for the $100 payout.

The ads are vinyl decals which  the company says do not damage paintwork.”

Read more on The Straits Times

Pump Prices Up for 13th time since last July

The Straits Times, Wednesday, June 25 2008
By Christopher Tan
Senior Correspondent

Pump prices have risen again, with petrol going up by 5 cents a litre and diesel, 10 cents.

This latest increase, the 13th consecutive rise since last July, started when oil giant Shell raised rates at 4pm yesterday. By evening, Caltex and ExxonMobil had followed suit.

Industry observers were perplexed by the latest hike. Oil consultant Ong Eng Tong said: “There is no logic to the increase. Wholesale prices of refined products have actually fallen in recent weeks.”

There have also been reports that fuel usage in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, had dipped. The recent removal of fuel subsidies in countries such as China and Malaysia is expected to dampen demand, if it has not already done so.

Ironically, in a time of record prices, oil companies say that profit margins in fuel retailing are thin.

In Singapore and Malaysia, British Petroleum has quit the fuel-retailing scene. In the US, ExxonMobil is selling off 2,000 stations to put its money in businesses with higher yields, such as exploration and refining.

With the latest adjustments here, a litre of 92-octane petrol costs $2.203 before discount. The 95 grade is now $2.236, while 98-octane is $2.31.

The so-called ultra-premium fuels cost more. Shell’s V-Power climbed five cents to $2.429, while Caltex’s Platinum rose by four cents to $2.426.

Diesel, which is used by taxis, buses and trucks, is retailing at $1.933. This fuel of commerce has nearly doubled in price from a year ago.

In effect, motorists are paying over 50% more for fuel. This means a car owner who spent $200 a month on fuel this time last year will now have to fork out over $300 a month.

As fuel prices rise, more people worldwide are filling up on credit, a practice oil firms have started to discourage as they have to pay a service charge to credit card companies.

The Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia has asked its 3,500 members to accept only cash. Stations in Dubai stopped taking credit cards last year.

An industry source said this was unlikely to happen in Singapore for the time being.

Maximise Savings with Petrol Loyalty Cards


    • SPC&U Card and SPC&U Diesel Card: 3 to 8 per cent discount on spending in the following month.
    • DBS Cards: 3% discount on top of loyalty card discount.
    • Citibank Dividends Card: 3% discount on top of loyalty card discount.


    • Caltex StarCard: 3% discount or site discount, whichever is higher.
    • OCBC and HSBC Cards: 5% discount can be combined with loyalty card discount but cannot be combined with site discount.


    • Personal Shell Card: 6% discount
    • UOB Cards: 5% discount. Credit card discount cannot be combined with loyalty card discount.

    Esso Mobil

    • Esso Mobil Privilege Card: 3% discount on top of site discount (only for Citibank card holders)
    • DBS Esso MasterCard: 5% discount on top of site discount.

    Reference: Sunday Times, June 22, 2008

    Saving Petrol – An Overview

    Ensure that your engine is in proper working condition. This would reduce the fuel required to work the engine. Regular servicing would obtain maximum efficiency for the vehicle. A dirty engine could increase fuel consumption by 10 to 20% while a clogged air filter increases 10% of fuel consumption. The air filter and the fuel filter should be kept clean. Use new filters if required. Installing an oxygen sensor could improve mileage by almost 15%.

    Feed multi-grade oil to your engine because it reduces drag. Change the oil regularly. Certain engines work optimally with different kinds or grades of fuel so do refer to the vehicle manual.

    Avoid running engine idle for a long time. The engine warms up faster while driving so there is no need to wait for it to warm up before moving off. If your engine uses petrol as fuel than it’s more efficient to turn off the engine than to run it idle for more than 30 sec.

    Go for the four-cylinder engine rather than going for V6 or V8. Light cars consume less fuel than large vehicles. Before buying a new vehicle look at its rated efficiency.

    Close Windows
    Open windows increases resistance to wind flow that increases fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

    Grade of Fuel
    Fuel tank caps that are either loose, damaged or are not there at all, cause petrol to vaporize. Close the cap properly every time you open it.

    Air pressure in tyres

    Poorly inflated tyres cause wastage of fuel as well as wear and tear of the tyres. Check your vehicle’s tyre pressures at least once in a month. You can refer to the specified tyre pressure label around the driver seat. Use radial ply tyres instead of cross ply ones because they offer comparatively less rolling resistance and longer life. Ensuring wheel alignments are proper gives 10 percent saving of fuel.

    Plan your trip
    Try to plan your trips during less-congested times of the day whenever possible. With less traffic, you can maintain a smooth engine running without having to apply harsh brakes. You can use the internet to check out the shortest route to your destination. Never put extra luggage on car’s roof rack as it increases weight. Road and weather conditions also play a major role in the fuel economy of your vehicle. Driving on a plain road can reduce fuel economy by as much as 6 percent. On the contrary on a road with upward slope causes 7 percent loss of fuel. Examine suspension and chassis parts for misalignment such as axles, bad shocks, bent wheels, or broken springs.

    Air Conditioning

    As vehicle speed increases, air resistance increases in an exponential fashion. While going on long tour try to maintain constant speed it improves fuel efficiency. Use the A/C it when required. With A/C on, an extra load is placed on the engine forcing more fuel to be used by about 20%. Furthermore, the engine runs inefficiently when it’s cold.

    Driving Techniques

    – See Driving Techniques to help you save Petrol