Short answer:

Fuel prices can fluctuate a lot, but when you do the sums you might be surprised at how little an increase in fuel prices affects your earnings. If you're concerned that you're not being properly compensated for the cost of fuel Borrowers use, you can increase your distance rate or time rate to make up the difference.

Fuel prices can fluctuate a lot - and when the pump prices sit at $1.50 and higher it can feel like fuel costs are eating into your car's income.

But when you do the sums, you might be surprised at how little these fuel price increases actually affect your earnings.

How much fuel costs per kilometre

When the fuel price rises from $1.30 to $1.60, the cost per kilometre for the average medium-sized car goes up by about 2 cents - from 12 cents/km to 14 cents/km.

Small or fuel-efficient cars will use less fuel, and large cars or vans will use more. To work out how much fuel your car takes, check out the fuel cost explainer.

Making sure you're compensated for your fuel costs

You're reimbursed for the fuel Borrowers use through your car's distance income. You choose your own distance income, from 13c, 25c, 31c, 37c or 45c per kilometre. You should choose a distance rate that is enough to cover fuel at an average rate over a year, and also cover tyres and servicing.

Most trips are under 100 kilometres per day, so the overall impact on your earnings of fuel price fluctuations is likely to be small. However, if you’re concerned about fuel prices, you could raise your car’s distance rate, or raise your daily rate by a few dollars to cover higher costs.

For example, if you wanted to cover the extra cost of fuel for the average day trip of 100 km, you would need to earn an extra $2 per day ($0.02 x 100).

Minimising your fuel costs

To make the system as convenient as possible for Borrowers, they can fill up at any service station. If there's a particular service station in your area that's usually cheaper than others, you could:

  • Keep your car filled up yourself before it goes out on bookings to reduce the chance that Borrowers need to fill up
  • Add a note to your special instructions asking Borrowers to use your preferred petrol station if possible
  • Add a note to your special instructions asking Borrowers to only return the car with 1/4 tank if petrol is particularly expensive
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