Petrol prices rise to four year high
ACCC tells drivers to shop around for fuel. But why are prices rising?
Thanks to mounting concerns over global crude oil supplies, the price of fuel rose sharply during May to a four-year high. Chairman for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Rod Sims said the last time prices were so high was this time in 2014.
“Consumers have recently been paying around $1.60 for petrol. These prices are higher than any time since mid-2014 in some cities.”
Why are fuel prices rising?
The ACCC attribute fuel hikes to a number of external factors. Sims explained the current situation.
“Unfortunately, the international factors pushing up wholesale petrol prices mean that these higher prices are being passed on to Australian motorists at the petrol bowser.”
These factors include a late 2016 agreement by oil-rich countries to curb production and increase demand for oil. Other countries not part of the pact also slashed oil refining. Adding to this is growing instability in oil making countries throughout the Middle East and revised US sanctions placed on Iran.
How to save money at the pump
Sims said that motorists need to shop around for fuel to find the cheapest petrol station in the area. To do that, he advised drivers to download fuel comparison apps and visit fuel price checking websites.
“There are plenty of apps consumers can download for free that tell them where the cheapest petrol is in their area. We encourage consumers to use these apps, along with the analysis and reports about fuel prices, to shop around and find the best deals.”
How much money could I save on fuel?
The ACCC captured prices across five state capitals. The difference in price between the highest and lowest petrol retailers was as much as 20 cents per litre.
“For example, yesterday lunchtime (June 4th), the available fuel websites and apps indicated that the range between the highest and lowest priced sites was over 20 cents per litre (Cpl) in Sydney and Adelaide, around 15 Cpl in Brisbane and Perth and around 10 Cpl in Melbourne.”
In real terms, filling an average sized car with 50 litres of fuel, you could save $11 per tank.
Why do some fuel retailers sell petrol for less?
Why are some fuel stations able to sell fuel for much less than their rivals? It’s all down to pricing strategies. Competing chains take different approaches to discounting fuel.
Which chains are the cheapest for fuel?
A previous ACCC quarterly fuel report revealed that independent chains were able to pass the biggest savings onto drivers. The investigation also revealed which brands charge the most for fuel.
Other ways to lower your fuel bill
Fuel is one of the most significant car running costs, but by making some simple changes you’ll be able to lower the amount you outlay:
- Get rid of unnecessary weight from your car to improve your fuel economy.
- Compare fuel cards and see what perks you can earn by using one.
- Know the facts when it comes to topping up your car. For example, should you fill-up in the morning to get more bang for your buck?