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Independent chains best for low fuel prices, ACCC finds

Australia’s independent petrol retailers have been reported to offer the lowest fuel prices in all eight major cities, according to a new report from the ACCC.

The report which analyses average petrol prices in 2018, found the lowest average prices at United in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart, Speedway in Sydney, Liberty in Adelaide, Vibe in Perth and FuelXpress in Darwin.

“The data reveals that independent chains were the lowest priced retailers in all eight cities, while Coles Express was the highest priced retailer in almost all cities,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“While some motorists decide where to fill up based on reasons other than price, such as convenience and related offers, for many consumers price is the biggest influence on where they buy petrol.”

Sims pointed to fuel price websites and apps as a good way to track prices.

The ACCC estimates that switching from a range of high- to low-priced petrol retailers in the five largest cities could have saved consumers around $275 million in 2018.

In those cities the range between the highest and lowest priced major retailer varied from 13.2 cents per litre in Sydney to 5.7 cpl in Melbourne.

The range between the highest and lowest priced retailers increased from 2017 to 2018 in the five largest cities, largely due to more volatile retail prices based on the international price of petrol last year.

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