Revisited: How Much Can You Really Save Pumping Petrol In JB?

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1654830521858 I Stock 640275620It only seems to keep going higher. No, not your salary, but local petrol prices. You can hope, dream or perhaps seek divine intervention, but it seems unlikely that petrol prices will get any cheaper for now.

With our previous article discussing how much one could save if they were to head into Johor Bahru to refuel their cars based on petrol prices back in March, we figured it would be beneficial to provide an update on how much you could save should you choose to refuel in Johor Bahru instead of Singapore, seeing that the price of premium petrol has breached $4 per litre and how 95-octane is almost $1 more expensive per litre than it was a year ago, as of the time of writing.

Crunching The Numbers

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Once again, for the purposes of this article, let’s assume that all laws are followed. Under the Customs Act 1960, Singapore-registered vehicles are required to have a minimum of at least three-quarters of the tank when leaving Singapore via the land checkpoints. 

Also, let’s assume you own an economy car with a fuel tank capacity of 55 litres, and an average consumption on the move of 15.6km/L, and an idling per hour consumption of 2.3L/hour. At current petrol prices, of which the lowest price of 95-octane is $3.30 per litre, a full tank would cost $139.75, after the best possible credit card discounts. 

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Following government guidelines, you’re expected to pump a minimum of 45 litres of petrol in your tank for your expedition across the border. Inclusive of the time you’d spend idling at the causeway and to cover the distance driven, you’re looking at a petrol cost of $114.35 for the same grade of fuel mentioned above.

The 7.8km journey from the causeway to the nearest petrol station in JB will consume about two litres of petrol, meaning that you’ll reach the pumps in JB with 43 litres left in your tank. This, in turn, means that you can refuel 12 litres of petrol.

There are legal repercussions for flouting the ¾ rule imposed by our government. With borders having been shut for so long, you can only realistically expect officials to be extra meticulous about conducting randomised checks.

And before you forget, Singapore-registered cars are not allowed to pump the subsidised RON95 petrol across the Causeway. You are only allowed to refuel with RON97 (or if you're up for it, some of that extra-spicy 100RON from Petron). At RM4.72 per litre at the time of writing, you’re looking at $17.81 for those 12 litres of RON97. 

Full Tank Refuel Costs

In Singapore (95 Octane) In Malaysia (RON97)
Full Tank $139.75 $81.63
Following 3/4 Tank Rule - $133.75

All in all, your full tank of petrol will set you back around $139.75. And that’s excluding the petrol you’ll need to make the commute back to Singapore. At current exchange rates, a full tank of Malaysian RON97 will cost you $81.63.

How Much Fuel Do You Really Save Eventually?

Considering you’ll need at least six litres of petrol to hop across the causeway with some fuel in reserve, you can fill up your entire tank for $66.79. Couple that with about $20 of fuel pumped in Singapore, and you’re looking at a full tank for $86.79, or about a realistic savings of $52.96.

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There are legal repercussions for flouting the ¾ rule imposed by our government. With borders having been shut for so long, you can only realistically expect officials to be extra meticulous about conducting randomised checks. After all, they are probably very aware of the layman’s desire to hop over the Causeway for a cheeky splash to save some cash.

As a quick refresher, you are liable to a fine of up to $500 for flouting the rules. You may also be denied the right to leave the country in a vehicle that does not comply with the regulations. And don’t think you can get away with altering your fuel gauge to skirt around the requirements. Officials do dip fuel tanks to verify fuel levels are accurate.

Alteration of your gauges may result in you being issued a fine of up to $5,000, and you may also be charged in court for the offence.

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. If you decide it is a calculated risk worth taking, you can proceed to flout the rules. But do note that the penalties are intentionally stiff to dissuade users from committing the offences in the first place!

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