Australian motorists unnecessarily paying premium for premium fuel

Peter Terlato 8 September 2016

fuel petrol australia

Aussies are forking out up to $20 more a tank.

New data suggests filling up with premium fuels could be costing Australian drivers up to $20 extra per tank, while sales of ethanol-based petrol continue to fall.

An analysis of NSW petrol prices, gleaned from NRMA's new mobile app, found sales of the cheapest fuel - E10 - fell 15% last year, while sales of regular unleaded increased 12% and premium rose 4% over the same period.

More than three-quarters of vehicles in NSW can run on the lower cost fuel.

NRMA also evaluated last week's petrol prices, revealing the gap between the cheapest and most expensive E10 offerings, 18 cents, was significantly less than other fuels.

NRMA found a price gap of 19 cents per litre for regular unleaded petrol, 27.7 cents per litre for premium 95 octane and a whopping 33.9 cents per litre for premium 98 octane.

This equates to potential savings of up to $17 per tank of premium 95 and up to $20 for a tank of premium 98.

"Of concern is that a lot of motorists are buying premium fuels when they don’t need to, but even more alarming is that they could be spending upwards of 34 cents a litre on a tank of petrol more than they should," NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said.

“The reality is most vehicles don’t need the more expensive fuel. Most vehicles can run on E10 without causing any damage to the engine or performance issues."

Despite offering some of the cheapest petrol prices in almost a decade and a half, fuel retailers are denying customers the full benefits and savings of reduced oil prices.

NRMA's mobile app gives NSW motorists access to real-time fuel prices, helping drivers save cash at the pump.

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