Your experience with oil buying clubs

As heating oil prices spiral upwards, people are increasingly turning to oil buying clubs, or oil syndicates, to try and get a better deal. Run correctly, these schemes should be better for everyone as they can allow a supplier to make a single delivery run to many people in a local area, all in one day.

The cost savings of this arrangement should filter down to the homeowners - but what is their experience? Here are some real-life quotes:

  • None
  • More expensive
  • Nil
  • Never used one
  • No experience
  • Never tried it
  • Good
  • Dont know
  • Never used
  • Not the cheapest way to get oil-dealing direct and getting a low price direct is more beneficial
  • Excellent. I buy thro Southern Farmers and my latest order is 58p. The previous high price was for an emergency van delivery in snow when tanker impractical. They say they were already on to the Southern Counties/boilerjuice scam
  • Never involved with clubs
  • Have no experience
  • As yet i havent used them
  • No nothing of them
  • None so far
  • Not sure
  • Don't work, people use oil at different levels and collecting payments a nightmare.
  • None as yet
  • You need a minimum order which I dont always need
  • No idea
  • Never have
  • Waste of time as they seem to always be more expensive
  • Prices are very inflated
  • NOT IN ONE
  • Poor prices
  • Never heard of them
  • Too expensive
  • Expensive and misleading
  • They have been more expensive than getting quotes from companies
  • Not much price comparison
  • Not happy with them, they seem dearer than normal
  • Always more than local supplier Brogans near Perth. Last fill was 1336l at 65.7p although Johnston only charge 57.9p. Thus I paid 104 more than I should have.
  • Not applicable
  • Variable and based on petrol prices at the forecourt
  • Still a little more expensive than if I shop around
  • Never used an oil buying club
  • They appear ok but over this winter there were extreme variations daily, and I dont trust them like before
  • Never heard of them - what are they?
  • I run one
  • Can save about 4p/litre when buying smaller quantities . Prices in our area vary by nearly 7p/lire based on an order of 16,000litres this February and 9p/litre compared to Boiler juice.
  • None, apart from boilerjuice ! just had a quote from them 589.79/1000lts, Sprint fuels 555.45 /1000lts
  • They work to the members advantage
  • Nothing recent
  • Very very expensive, over the top
  • No great saving!
  • I'm not organized enough to be in one. There is however a successful club running in the village at the present time
  • Terrible
  • Registered with heatingoil.co.uk for their white hot days. Never heard anything. They used to be really good with offers of 10 off. I don't use them now. Rix quoted 56p yesterday 28th jan 2011
  • Boilerjuice have been competitive - usually the best. Tried Go Locate fuels but their service is terible. Heating Oil club has not yet given me the cheapest price and as i order 1000 litres per month - every penny counts!
  • Never used them so no opinion
  • I run one and place orders on the first of every month.
  • Never joined one!
  • Prices and unreliable of delivery dates and time
  • Have no experience as yet with oil buying clubs
  • That you don't actually save any money.
  • Waste of time
  • Don't have any
  • None in the area
  • Have only looked at boilerjuice who give a price which is useful as an indicator, but always more expensive than i can buy it phoning around - but have a friend whose village does it - they seem to get this cheaper, but it's a lot of work for one individu
  • Don't have a local one
  • Ripped off in December
  • Expensive
  • We have a coop in a rural area. It is run by volunteers, costs buyers nothing and saves money every time. Plus it includes orders of 500L for the same price which helps the less well off.
  • We save 3p - 5p/litre (10% - 12%) against "National Average" prices (ref. boilerjuice.com, which I now understand isn't that trustworthy). Suppliers like the simplicity of multiple deliveries in one hit.
  • None at all
  • Very expensive
  • Never used before
  • Have used boilerjuice once but mainly use them to check prices
  • Total rip off
  • Good but still so expnsive
  • Heard of them but don't know of who does them
  • NONE - shop around and haggle, and usually get cheaper than boiler juice
  • Never tried them
  • I get a bit of a saving
  • Dont always get reduction
  • They sound like a good idea
  • Never done it
  • I have ordered, paid, now await some update, it worries me now that they are so slow to update the customer. I paid by credit card to protect myself in case its a hoax site and a fraud
  • None available locally
  • Local group in Kilmington usually seems to give a few p/l price reduction on 1000l amount.
  • Good with the exception of delivery time. At present costs have increased which is no great surprise but the extended deliveries are unacceptable as there are no alternatives
  • Costs too high
  • Moderate, can be successful but nothing beats testing suppliers direct on phone
  • The best price so far
  • Not used, but see their pricing is more expensive that buying from local distributor
  • Very expentive, not much in it.
  • Not used one
  • Directoil seems to be the best deals, ordered last year and had no problems, but now prices are higher I feel reluctant to part with my money!
  • Not cheaper
  • Is there a choice?
  • Prices are too high I'm using my heating for only 1 hour per day trying to delay buying it and hoping the price will fall
  • Absolute rubbish Boilerjuice is a rip off a local distributor was over 20ppl cheaper.
  • A con, price never ever matches local supplier
  • I do not use them as I am unsure of who they represent. Bolierjuice is a prime example. I have always used CPL petroeum.
  • Not many people buy to obtain group discount
  • Bad
  • Never used a club
  • Not good
  • Have never used an oil buying club
  • Drive me mad wittering about when they want oil. Gave up on it. My problem is a small tank, only 200gallons; could order with more freedom in previous house wehre tank was 500 gallons.
  • No experience as neighbours cannot agree on delivery dates etc
  • None - we cant see how it would work. I'd rather buy when the price is right rather than when the neighbours need it !
  • Fine
  • Sometimes cheaper other times not.
  • Have'nt tried it.
  • Not had any
  • I have only checked the Boilerjuice prices and they don't seem to give me any saving at all - I can get the same or better prices just by phoning around the suppliers.
  • None in your area
  • So far... so good!
  • Not much cheaper

To add your own experience, complete the survey on the right!


5 Comments

by Gerry on 24 June 2011 Reply
Boilerjuice is the biggest con of all. I have been checking their price against the local suppliers in Inverness and find Boilerjuice are typically 10p/litre more expensive. A 2500 litre tank was my best investment, now I fill up once a year in Summer at the lowest price.
by Paul Olson on 21 February 2011 Reply
I'm in a village consortium that works very well. Order oil six times a year, typically 40,000 litres a time and we save several pence per litre. Over 100 members. A big advantage is that you can order as little as 500 litres and get the same price. Spreads the cost of filling the tank. We contribute ?1 a year for the admin costs. Highly recommended.
by Johnny Denis on 15 February 2011 Reply
I note you still have Boiler Juice listed up here. While it used to be a comparison website it is now owned by DCC/GB Oils and only offers their price.

Best wishes

on 15 February 2011 Reply
by Johnny Denis on 16 February 2011 Reply
Despite refutations, Its still a DCC company and it doesn't shop around anymore. Visit the site and read the footer. They have owned up to this one.

by Howard Lilley on 18 January 2011 Reply
I have run an oil buying group covering 3 villages in rural Kent on a voluntary basis (no charges) for 14 years. We save on average between 3 & 7 pence per litre compared to the average 500 litre price.That adds up to a total saving of about ?34,000 per year! Of course it is worth it!
by mike george on 15 February 2011 Reply
I am interested in my area to start a group but on my own not with an existing group that does appear to be more expensive, I want to run this so that people do genuinely save money. Can you give me some help and advice, if possible, pitfalls and dangers. I would be very interested, many thanks. Mike
by Howard Lilley on 16 February 2011 Reply
Regarding your question Mike, the group that I run makes no charges including expenses. The only advantage for me is that I save by getting the same lower price for my oil as the others.

If you google Frittenden Parish Council you will find details of our scheme, including my contact details. I run it using e-mail and a simple Excel Spreadsheet. I would be happy to let you have a copy and discuss how to go about it.

The only pitfall I have found is that a few people expect you to breathe for them, they have to be told the facts of life fairly quickly.

by Mike George on 20 February 2011 Reply
Howard, di not see a response to my last email would be interested in your further reply.

Thanks. Mike

by Howard Lilley on 20 February 2011 Reply
Mike. See my post dated 16/2/11. You can get my direct contact details from the Frittenden PC Website, if you phone me I can run through my system and answer your questions. I can also arrange to let you have a copy of the spreadsheet I use.

Howard.

by mike george on 16 February 2011 Reply
Thanks for reply, yes I would be very interested, I see that several "groups" have different ways of working, and would be very interested in your system where everybody benefits, and would appreciate any more advice, especially with seeing how you do it, spreadsheets etc, Thanks. Mike

by John Swindells on 23 January 2011 Reply
That's a big saving. How do you decide when to place an order - and with whom?
by Howard Lilley on 23 January 2011 Reply
In answer to your question, I set 3 dates per year, early February, July & November. Members who need suppling between my buying dates have to go it alone, but I supply a list of numbers to call for a quote. Ideally, everybody should have a tank large enough for at least 6 months supply, but it is not an ideal world.
by R.E.Cooper on 03 January 2011 Reply
The big difficulty is to synchronise demand across a group with different sized tanks and different consumption rates. I joined in once, albeit rather reluctantly, but still feel that the best ploy is to have a big tank which holds over 12 months worth and to exploit the freedom of timing that that gives by waiting for prices to drop to what I think is a minimum - works quite well but isn't infallible.
by Howard Lilley on 16 February 2011 Reply
A large tank is ideal, but buying with a good group can lead to big savings. One of mine bought 2000 litres this time, saving ?126 when compared with the average price on the day of order.
by John Swindells on 14 January 2011 Reply
That's my experience - everyone in my area seems to have their own idea of when to fill. I make sure that we consume little enough for a tankful to last a year and a half - allowing me to buy when I think it's most cost-effective.

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