A new South African app allows motorists to find which petrol station near them offers the cheapest fuel and best cash-back and fuel-reward programmes, such as those provided by banking services.
Increases in the domestic price of fuel have been big news in South Africa throughout 2022. Motorists with petrol vehicles are now paying R3.85 (19.6%) more for a litre of petrol, while diesel motorists are spending a significant R6.68 (38.7%) more for a litre since the start of the year when the price of 95 petrol was R19.61, and diesel was R17.24.
The most expensive month for petrol users was July, costing R26.74/litre at the pumps. For diesel users, the most costly month was November, costing R25.48/litre – which was only 8 cents more expensive than the price seen in July.
Given the high cost of fuel throughout 2022, Cape Town resident Rob Gardner developed an app called MyTank to help South Africans find the best value for money when filling up their vehicles.
The app was initially developed to check the price of diesel, as diesel is unregulated and, therefore, prices can differ significantly between filling stations, Gardner told MyBroadband.
However, the inclusion of the fuel rewards section also means that the app has value to petrol users, whose fuel is more consistently priced between stations, as different cash-back services can have wildly-varying payouts depending on the station used.
“Some of the rewards programmes are notoriously hard to decode, so I wanted to provide a simple ‘apples-for-apples’ comparison and keep it super easy and intuitive with just enough info to allow users to make informed decisions,” said Gardner.
How it works
Once a user has registered an account on the mobile or web app, they can set their tank size, fuel type, select the rewards programs they use and configure their relevant tiers.
MyTank then calculates and ranks the fuel stations you should use for the cheapest refills, showing how much value you would earn from rewards programmes at each station.
The app allows users to choose to see the petrol or diesel price per litre or the price to fill up an entire tank and can also have the app deduct the value they earn from their rewards programme from refuelling costs.
“I worked out I was sometimes getting less back in rewards than what it cost in fuel driving to a specific fuel station,” said Gardner
“The app does all the sums for you and just tells you where to go and what rewards programme to use if you have several,” he added.
Gardner told MyBroadband he was negotiating with oil companies to get their fuel stations listed.
“Fuel stations — should they wish to subscribe — can set all their details, such as amenities, facilities and ATMs, restaurants, load-shedding status, and diesel price, as well as advertise their specials and promotions,” he said.
MyBroadband tested the map and found numerous stations from prominent fuel companies — including BP, Caltex, Engen, MBT, Puma, Shell, and Total — mapped on the app.
“We also checked various other smaller cities and towns around the country and found they had plenty of stations mapped,” added MyBroadband.
A short video of Gardner explaining how the app works in detail is provided below.