How To Put Petrol In Your Car

How to put petrol in your car

Admit it. The thought of putting petrol in your own car terrifies you. So many massive things on your list of fears when it comes to migrating, but this is not one to ignore.

In order to help you prepare for having to put fuel in your own car (you can do it!), I’ve come up with some handy tips for you on how to put petrol in your car.

1. Check what side your fuel cap is on. This is extremely important as which side you choose to drive up to is going to make all the difference. You may think the petrol hose will reach all the way to the opposite side of your car if you park the wrong side. But it usually won’t. To save yourself the embarrassment of having to move your car, check your fuel cap side. Luckily cars make it pretty easy these days with little arrows pointing to the fuel side on your dashboard! If there is no little arrow next to your petrol pump icon, note which side the fuel hose is showing on the icon and voila, that’s your fuel side!


2. Hop out the car, casually, like you’ve done this a million times before. Mosey on over to the fuel pump. Take note of the figures on the pump. It will show the data from the previous person who used the pump. You’ll need to wait for this to reset to zeroes before you are able to pump your own fuel. This is activated by you lifting the fuel hose you want to use (by this point I hope you know which fuel you are selecting!).

3. While you are holding the hose, begin to open the fuel cap. By the time your cap is open and you’ve placed the fuel nozzle in the car, the pump should be set to zero. If not, just wait a few moments and then it will eventually reset to all zeroes.

How To put petrol in your car

4. Now, the fun part! Press that baby down and wait for the fuel to flow. You will most likely have to wait a couple of seconds before the fuel starts coming through. Don’t be an idiot like me and assume it will come the second you start holding it down. I even asked the guy next to me why it wasn’t coming out! What a chop. Just keep holding it down and eventually it will start flowing through.


5. Next you need to decide how much to put in. Do you want to stop at a certain amount or just fill it until it is full? If you want to get a rounded figure you’ll need to slow the flow once you start getting to the last dollar, so if you want to put $50 in, once it hits $49, release your grip and pump the handle slowly until you hit that magic number. If you want to fill it up, just keep holding it down until it clicks off. There is usually a dribble of fuel after you stop pumping so shake it a little before withdrawing it from the car.

6. Place the fuel hose back on the pump and make sure it clicks in properly. If it doesn’t, an alarm will start to go off after a few seconds (I kid you not) and someone on a loudspeaker will shout at you to put it on properly. Seriously, this happened to me once. Super embarrassing!

How to put petrol in your car

7. Grab your money/purse/wallet, lock your car and head in the store to pay. Make a note of your pump number and tell the person the number. They will then bring up what you owe. If you have any fuel discount vouchers, hand them over. For Coles, when you shop with them and spend a minimum amount you’ll get voucher on your receipt for 4c off per litre of fuel at all Coles fuel stations (normally Shell). For Woolworths, same applies but instead of a voucher, it just gets added to your Rewards card (so it’s worth getting one of these). At the Woolworths stations (normally Caltex), just hand over your Rewards card and they’ll take the voucher off from there.

8. Hop back into your car, casually like nothing momentous just happened, and drive off. But you’ll know that you just did something pretty awesome!

How did you feel when you first put fuel in your car? Did you ever mix up the diesel and the petrol hoses? I hope not! I’d love to hear your first experience of putting fuel in your car in the comments.

If you are new to Perth, check out my posts which are all about renting a house in Perth and how to find a job in Perth.

About Author

Helping you move to, settle in, and explore your new home in Australia. Avid reader, beach lover, and horse addict. As someone who has emigrated, not once, not twice, but three times, I know exactly what you’re going through. The ups and downs of emigration are faster than a rollercoaster and I’ve been there – three times!


  • J Dreyer
    25th September 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I stopped to put fuel in my rental car today – holey smokes, not as easy as I thought. The main culprit, the delay between the time you depress the trigger and the time it takes for the fuel to start flowing. About 20 seconds in this instance! I only came to this realisation after I tried a different pump and ask for advise that turned out to be a little less than useful!

    • Reeva Cutting
      28th September 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Haha! Not just me then! It’s not as easy as you think the first time, but after you’ve done it a few times, you can’t remember what all the fuss was about!

  • Niro
    24th February 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks Reeve – I read your post a million times before I attempted this novelty. Both my hubby and I got out the car to enjoy…
    #2 was the most difficult for us – we were too excited to pull off “casual” or “mosey”!
    Was not successful at #8 either – my huge GRIN gave it away.

    Next attempt – I flew/filled solo…I felt Fabulous after accomplishing this.

    • Reeva Cutting
      25th February 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Ha ha – it’s so funny how something so simple can make you feel like you just accomplished something amazing!


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