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Heating oil: Get the cheapest price

Heating oil: Get the cheapest price doortoriver/Flickr

Over 1.5 million homes in the UK rely on cheap heating oil for warmth during the cold months. Currently prices are very low thanks to the oil price collapse. If you’re looking to buy, then now is a good time!

The problem is that the whole process of buying heating oil can be confusing – working out who to go to and the best price isn’t always easy.

So, if the plethora of suppliers has got your head spinning, read on and let us help you make the right decision and get cheap heating oil.

 

Why is oil so cheap at the moment?

oilThere are a two main reasons for oil currently being so cheap.

Firstly, there is currently weak demand for oil in many countries as their economies are still poor. Secondly, the US is producing a lot more of its own oil.

On top of this, oil cartel OPEC (made up of Arab nations) is refusing to cut back its production, which would make prices rise. This may well be to put the American production under pressure and potentially to force some producers to shut down. In the long term this could mean a greater market share for OPEC.

Whilst the effects of dropping oil prices are mixed, if you’re looking to get heating oil then now’s a good time to look to buy.

For example, when we last updated this article in June 2013 Heating Oil.co.uk were charging £766.40 for 1,000 litres in Cornwall… they are now charging £440.79. In Northern Ireland Boiler Juice were charging £734.90, they are now charging £431.97.

As with most things, there’s no telling how long this price drop will continue for. It may stop in a few days, or may last for many more months.

Prices vary according to location so if you don’t know who your local suppliers are, you can find them using the OFTEC website.

 

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Current prices

Prices for gas oil correct as of 16.12.2014:

England: Postcode in Cornwall for an order of 1,000 litres

Company Price per litre in pence (ex. Vat) Total in £ (inc.vat) Delivery period
Heatingoil.co.uk 41.98 6+ days
Check-my-tank 38.51 £404.35 Within 5 days
BoilerJuice 44.94 £471.87 Within 6 working days
Home Fuels Direct 44.06 £462.63 Within 10 working days

Northern Ireland: Postcode in County Down for an order of 1,000 litres

Company Pence per litre (ex.vat) Total in pounds (inc.vat) Delivery period
BoilerJuice 41.14 £431.97 Within 6 working days
Carlisle Fuels 43.80 £459.90 Within 10 working days

Scotland: Postcode in Inverness for an order of 1,000 litres

Company Pence per litre (ex.vat) Total in pounds (inc.vat) Delivery period
BoilerJuice 48.24 £506.52 Within 6 working days
Home Fuels Direct 47.06 £494.13 Within 10 working days

Wales: Postcode in Cardigan for an order of 1,000 litres

Company Pence per litre (ex.vat) Total in pounds (inc.vat) Delivery period
BoilerJuice 51.57 £541.49 Within 6 working days
Heatingoil.co.uk 46.20 £485.10 6+ days

As you can see from these results, there is a huge price difference purely depending on where you are, never mind who you’re ordering from. We’ve gone through the price ranges with you, but now it’s time to learn more about the companies you could be buying from.

 

 

BoilerJuice

energy-spring-cleanOne of the best sites to visit if you are in a remote area is BoilerJuice, as they have a comprehensive directory of heating oil suppliers.

How it works

To get a free quote, all you need to do is provide your postcode, desired delivery date and the amount of oil you need. BoilerJuice will then search their databases and come up with the cheapest quote for your amount, area and preferred delivery time.

Once you’ve got a free quote there’s no obligation to buy, so it’s a good way to get an idea of prices in your area.

BoilerJuice also runs ‘buying weekends’ which anyone can take part in. They organise your delivery in accordance with those in your surrounding area which can save you some serious money.

In the past we have been told that once you’ve placed your order with BoilerJuice, you were somewhat on your own. However a spokesperson from the company has told us that they ” have a customer service team, who assist our customers right through to delivery. We offer personalised assistance over the phone and rectify any problems on behalf of the customer”

 

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Quote 1

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Heatingoil.co.uk

saveenergyHeatingoil.co.uk is great for helping save you money, as well as having a dedicated aftersales team to deal with any issues you may have.

Their latest research shows that the ‘premium’ oil – or premium kerosene as it’s otherwise known – will help optimise the efficiency of heating systems and save consumers money in the process. You can save money by using a higher quality oil as it increases the efficiency of your tank or boiler.

How it works

Unlike the other sites, you can buy your oil directly from Heatingoil.co.uk. Their site claims to offer lower prices because they only do quotes online. This means they have less staff and fewer overheads, so they pass the savings on to the customer.

They’ll give you an instant quote if you enter your postcode. Then you can choose whether or not you want to carry on and buy your oil from them.

They also allow you to order your oil up to a month before delivery. They agree prices for up to 28 days in advance with their suppliers and you are guaranteed the price per litre you paid on the day, even if the oil price rises. Watch out though because conversely, if the price drops, you’ll be paying more and if you want to cancel and re-order they’ll charge you a £10 admin fee.

Unlike BoilerJuice, these guys take charge of all aftersales, so you will be dealing with them if any problems arise or if you need to cancel orders.

The best way to get the cheapest price on this site is to select a large delivery window. This flexibility means they can work your order around other orders in your area. And like BoilerJuice, these guys run group-buying days.

 

Check-my-tank.com

Check-my-tank.com are an independent company set up to help commercial and residential heating oil users make better decisions and purchase fuel efficiently. They install tank monitors in the top of each tank so that you, using an internet connected device, can see exactly how much fuel you have in your tank, the daily usage rates and when you will run out.

In the Check-my-tank App you can get reminders of when you should order fuel and then you can see prices in the app and purchase fuel directly through the app using a price comparison service. Thankfully you can’t order too much because the system knows the size of your tank.

The next version of the app will push delivery date confirmations back to the customer. Another neat trick is the app will even send you a message when it senses that a delivery has occurred and will also validate the amount delivered compared to your order.

 

 

Make even more savings

time1Time your order

It’s hard to predict when prices will rise and fall, but right now they are really low so it makes sense to starting looking to buy.

Ditch the direct debit

Try to avoid setting up a direct debt with a particular supplier. Being tied up to one specific company means you won’t always be getting the best price, because you won’t be able to choose exactly when to buy more oil. Also make sure you avoid automatic top-up schemes.

Negotiate

negotiateNever accept the first quote you’re offered by an oil supplier. Although it requires more effort, it’s best to follow the Moneymagpie mantra – shop around and compare prices. You can then use these quotes to negotiate with your preferred supplier, if you have one. Or just go for the lowest quote you’ve received.

Order in specific amounts

Remember that tanker deliveries are designed to return to the depot empty. If there isn’t enough room to put all the oil you’ve ordered in your tank, it will cost more for the tanker to return to the depot – and you’re the one who will foot the bill.

So – to avoid paying for oil you don’t get the benefit of, make sure you have enough space for the full delivery or only order the specific amount you’ve got room for.

Order in bulk

Getting together with your friends and neighbours from the local area will get you a better price from your oil supplier. The supplier will only have to send out one tanker that way, and they’ll be able to pass the savings onto you.

In addition, the more oil you buy at one time, the more power you’ll have to negotiate on price. The suppliers will be especially keen to get your business if it’s a large order, and they’ll be more inclined to offer you a cheaper price per litre. Don’t forget to check your tank, as well as your boiler – storage tanks should also be serviced once a year to check for signs of age and need for repair. These top tips should help you find cheap heating oil.

 

36 Responses to “Heating oil: Get the cheapest price”

  1. Gordon Robinson says:

    Avoid Certas and their numerous subsidiaries

  2. Andrew Higgins says:

    As well as offering a great price on heating oil at valueoils.com there are tips on the blog about how you can make savings on your heating bills!

  3. olli997@hotmail.co.uk says:

    Always use Universal Fuels nowdays, 9/10 times they are the cheapest but more importantly I don’t have to worry!

  4. Terry Fairbrother says:

    Coming from a gas area to no gas, it took many years to figure out how to get the best prices – buy bulk in the summer. I have a 1200l tank, plus an additional 1200l tank next to it. Cost £50 off ebay plus the same to get it hooked up to the first tank with an isolating tap.

    2nd way to cost save is to work out which its a cheapest supplier locally. Then working from the dearest get quotes ( they get used to being asked all the time). When you get to your normal supplier you may have a better price which you offer them to match. A long standing relationship will get you the best price.

    Bare in mind that prices tend to be as little as 0.1p difference so running up phone bills and your time to save £3 on a tank may not be cost effective.

  5. Amy W says:

    For all you heating oil users, there is a free prize draw for a Apollo Smart meter and a Tank Lok, here is the link heatingoil.co.uk

  6. Lee says:

    Not sure where my comment went but I’ll post again. I have got quotes from the sites mentioned above and found they are not the cheapest. One I tried not mentioned was Rix Petroleum and found for my postcode they were nearly 2p a litre cheaper for both standard and express delivery!

  7. Lee says:

    Not sure where the research has been carried out but there are far more cheaper suppliers on the market than the four mentioned. For instance just done a comparison between Heating Oil.co.uk and Rix Petroleum rix.co.uk and found they are nearly 2p a litre cheaper.

  8. Fyrgen says:

    Bad experience with Homefuels Direct. Placed 1000l oil order and they promised it within 1-5 working days. Snow came and went…still no oil, freezing house. Every day they promised it the next day. Ended up cancelling and going with local independent who put oil in my tank the same day.

  9. Gerald Prosser says:

    Thanks for this,
    great advice. We always order our heating oil from rix.co.ukheating-oil/ and they now have an instant quote tool
    which meant online ordering was really easy! They’ve got depots across the
    country I think, so can deliver pretty much anywhere.

  10. liz says:

    Best price today 22nd October in Staffordshire was 59.5 from Watsons Petroleum

  11. liz says:

    where has oilpricecheck.co.uk gone. the address no longer works,

  12. Major Gowan says:

    Good article but picture of an oil filled radiator…which runs on electricity.. is perhaps a bit misleading !

  13. Brian Foster says:

    Check out Find a Fuel Supplier. They have a whole bunch of suppliers showing live
    heating oil prices. I typically spend 4 or so hours ringing suppliers for the best
    prices, within minutes i had found a good price and called the supplier
    straight away quoting the price I had seen.

  14. Brian Foster says:

    I used a fuel price comparison website called Find a Fuel Supplier to find my best price on heating oil These guys display ‘live daily prices’ for all the fuel suppliers mentioned in this article which i have never come across before. I usually end up ringing around 4 or so suppliers for the best prices, these guys host all the best prices for you to see.

  15. Dave888 says:

    As per Jane’s comment, it would be great if the article could be updated as a lot appears to have changed in a year. Just did a quick comparison and ended up buying 900litres to fill up from heatingoil.co.uk for my house in Carmarthen.

  16. Jane says:

    Tips sound good – we’ve used BoilerJuice to track prices then ask local suppliers to match! Disappointed that facts & figures are over a year old! Wonder what else is out-of-date?

  17. Karen Furley says:

    They have called to arrange delivery for tomorrow. Squeaky gates, oil and all that.

  18. Karen Furley says:

    I ordered 800 litres of oil using Which Oil Supplier from Homefuels Direct in the am 9 days ago. They took the payment and I’ve heard nothing from them since! Chasing up.

  19. James says:

    Used Boilerjuice for all my deliveries for nearly two years but my previous two drops I have used FuelFighter they have proven to be cheaper than all the other online suppliers that I have tried but having recommended them to a relative in Bedfordshire I think there coverage is limited to Lincolnshire and further North but by far and away the the cheapest I have found.

  20. Cheapest Oil says:

    Cheapest Oil Ltd (Reg. No. NI071311) used to be listed here. CheapestOil.co.uk has been operating for over 4 years (pre dating most of the sites mentioned here) and serve commission free prices to thousands of people every day.

    We’re listed on some government pamphlets as a great way to save money on heating oil.

  21. Araceli Damboise says:

    Good tips! Great to hear that the post was helpful.

  22. Jo says:

    Why do you have to buy 500L as a minimum? I can’t afford that but need to get some oil in to use only when I want to make sure the pipes don’t freeze – a requirement of the landlord. I don’t intend using the oil to heat the house for the winter.
    I only need 250L !

    • Alec Rice says:

      Re minimum order of 500litres.
      This is standard with most suppliers. Its to do with Weights & Measures Act. They have to have a certain number of litres to be able to measure a 1% disperancy (evaporation, spill etc).
      Some oil suppliers have a special licence to distribute smaller amounts usually 250litres but you’ll pay a premium. Some suppliers have a facility at yards for you to fill up yourself though again costly.
      For best prices join an oil buying club if one exists in your area.

  23. Jaide says:

    WhichOilSupplier is a great comparison website and easy to use. Unlike some of the other sites they don’t charge suppliers so the price you see is the same as the one you would get if you called the suppliers direct. Simple to use too – all you do is enter your postcode and litres required.

  24. James M. says:

    Dont bother going anywhere else. Fuel tool is BY FAR the cheapest and easiest to use. Check it out.

  25. Danny Stijelja says:

    Why don’t heating oil suppliers advertise the current price on their website. I have visited lots of websites and they never show the current price, you have to phone up. This doesn’t help the consumer. It is a simple thing to do and update on a daily basis and consumers could look around without having to make contact which is a help at weekends and out of hours times.

    • David Brown says:

      Hi Danny,
      After 30 years in the oil industry spent mostly in the UK and the last 9 in the US, I wish there was a simple answer to your question. I can only guess that as there are some 250 suppliers in the UK (EX NI)they are all very competitive and just won’t publish their prices. Its different in the US they like to sell, and they know customers need to buy, and the the attitude is some you win some you lose.

      Since you wrote your comment, heatingoilshop.com has been born (fully live end of June 2012) and goes some way to getting all the quotes you want from suppliers by email.

      There is resistance but sooner or later they will have to give in because “the fear of loss”, a great marketing tool. Have a look at the site and spread the word.

      David Brown MD
      Heating Oil Shop Ltd

  26. Richard says:

    Recently ordered 2400 litres for two neighbours and myself on the same day from Boilerjuice. All three of us live within 30 yards of each other – guess what …. each of our deliveries came in a separate tanker. Ludicrous or what!!

  27. David Edwards says:

    No mention in this article of .WhichOilSupplier.- I used this site last month and had a choice of 3 suppliers. They do not take payment – just a comparison site with prices alongside different oil supppliers.

    Looks like it’s independent, unlike BoilerJuice and HeatingOil which are both owned by oil companies.

    cheers

    David E

  28. fran says:

    hey,
    groups are a good way, I run comparefueloil where you can compare the suppliers in your area instantly. Also I’m trying to get consortuims listed on there so you can find your local one and when their ordering.

    Got to compare all the time.

  29. Robin Pearson says:

    Beware -had 1000 litres from Southern Fuels, Devon without first agreeing price and was charged 59p litre. Got brother in law to ring for a quote from them immediately afterwards and was he was quoted 46p!

  30. Jamie Davidson says:

    Hi, took your advice and used universal fuels, they were the cheapest of them all. But the YOBCO was very close. Boiler juice always seem to be expensive. Maybe its different in different areas?

  31. Jean Bell says:

    fuelbuyingclub check it out

  32. Jean Bell says:

    I use the above, they not only cap prices, but also if the price drops you will pay the lower price. If it goes up you pay your capped price. From only £12 to join the club the savings are fantastic.

  33. ollie says:

    universalfuels runs an england wide consortum and compares all the suppliers for you, there the best one i’ve found so far.

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