ACCC urges drivers to swap petrol stations
A report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found average prices between major retailers across Australia’s largest cities varied by as much as 9.5 cent per litre with Coles Express offering the highest average petrol prices while Woolworths and the independents were generally the cheapest.
The average prices of BP-branded and Caltex-branded retail sites were above the market average price in either all five capital cities, or the majority of the five cities in 2017. The cheapest retailers were United in Melbourne and Brisbane, Speedway in Sydney, Liberty in Adelaide and Vibe in Perth. The analysis also found that the gap between the highest price and the lowest price had increased “significantly” over the past decade.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims urged customers to consider shopping around at different service stations to put pressure on retailers to lower their prices.
“The majority of consumers tend to go to the same petrol station every time they fill up,” Sims said on Monday. “What this analysis tells us is the decision about which retailer to buy petrol from is even more important in 2017 than it was in 2007. Retailers’ prices are not the same, they price differently and have different strategies to get you to fill up with them.”
He said many drivers are paying more than they need for petrol and encouraged customers to use fuel price websites and apps that will tell them where to buy the cheapest petrol in the area.
“Shopping around has the added benefit of increasing competition by putting pressure on retailers who charge the most to lower their prices or risk losing customers,” Sims said.