CHOICE membership

Petrol prices


Thanks, Graham. Pretty-much as I thought. :frowning: I’ve just driven back from Melbourne, where I filled up for 122.9 c/l. People can buy 5 litres there and pay only what I pay for four…


The ACCC reports that petrol station profit margins have reached an all-time high:


And what are the ACCC doing about it, well other than to say yes it is at an all time high, Nothing, Nada, Ziltch, Zero. Their sage advice is “motorists rally against it”, and shop around. Motorists do rally against it, they do shop around and they try to buy in the best time of any price cycle but how far do you have to go to get the price worth paying? 100 km, 1,000 km? What a joke, for example we travelled 80 km round trip today (7 suburbs) and every price was 149.9 c/litre.

The ACCC are a laughing, running, leaping, joke when it comes to real action on petrol pricing. So much hot air they could float the earth out of it’s orbit.


In their world they are making it transparent so we can shop around for the best bargain, and so all of us can understand we are being ripped off. Isn’t that how they do their job more often than not? Their job is spin to protect business profits, isn’t it?


Coles are always at least 4 cents dearer than nearby service stations. I wonder why they get any customers at all. The only time I go there is when they send me a 10c off per liter voucher. If you are a Flybuys member these seem to turn up about once a month.


In many areas it’s not just Coles and Woolies outlets. There are many places where regional fuel distributors seem to have an almost supernatural ability to know exactly how much they’re all going to charge.

It must be pure coincidence, as it’d be illegal for them to collude to set fuel prices at the same high level. Naturally the ACCC would be right onto it…


This is a surprise - someone at the ACCC is working on Mothers Day (OK, they could have scheduled the release, but …)

What isn’t surprising is the ACCC has worked out the fuel industry is dodgy :slight_smile:

Detailed report here: (linked from above)


Well after all of Australia could see it everyday in the Streets the ACCC with it’s speedy resolution can now tell us it is what we know it is. Something like the Banking Industry and the big 3 regulators only just now waking up (but probably just so they can roll over). Maybe they will go as hard on the petrol pricing as they did on the Banks and ask them to hold some capital aside just in case…


Here’s a list of the cheapest fuel available following from the ACCC’s report, plus some petrol price apps that can save you money:


This is not new news, but confirms our observations in Brisbane.

Why is petrol so high when?

In June 2008, the crude oil price spiked to just under USD160/per barrel. At the time the Australian Dollar was around AUD0.80 to the USD. This would make the price of crude oil around AUD200/barrel. At this time, the average price of petrol peaked around $1.60/L.

Since 2008, the volume of the barrel measurement for oil has not changed.

In 2018, the current crude price is around USD72/barrel. At today’s exchange rate, this corresponds to about USD96. Current fuel prices around around $1.50/L.

While fuel excise has increased since 2008, it is only around $0.40L

There does seem to be a mismatch with the current oil price and what we pay for petrol at the browser, compared to that back in 2008.


The article recommends to use the app MotorMouth for petrol price tracking, but its reviews are horrible. I’ve been using Fuel Map Australia for a little while now, and after trialling the availavle apps on the market, enjoy its usability the most. The app is very efficient, but my only problem would be the low volume of crowd-sourced data. More people need to get on it! :slight_smile:


For anyone in NSW, who uses the myNRMA app, tread carefully.

I updated it on my phone yesterday. You now need to login with your myNRMA credentials or your phone number before the app will work. The fuel prices function is now a bit more cumbersome, but NRMA is deflecting criticism by saying that it now offers member-only fuel discounts of up to 5c/litre at participating Caltex service stations.

Sure enough, when I checked prices for 98RON, the cheapest local offer was Caltex, but only if you took the 5c/litre discount into account. I went to the nominated Caltex servo and filled up. The cashier was very helpful and understanding, but after many failed attempts to scan the QR code from the myNRMA app, he gave up. His terminal kept reporting that the code was invalid.

End result is that I wound up paying 4c/litre more than if I had just gone to the 7 Eleven as I usually would have done.

NRMA have been quick to respond to my one-star review of the app. They asked me to provide a copy of the fuel receipt , so perhaps they will eventually offer me some recompense. Hopefully, they will also quickly iron out the bugs !


Appreciate the feedback @natural.thought and @ScottOKeefe, always a good idea to check the reviews of any given app :thumbsup:


In Queensland, the independent fuel retailer Puma has joined up with RACQ to give members a 4c/L discount on fuels. You just need to show your RACQ membership card to the cashier when paying for the fuel.

Puma in our area is generally one of the cheapest fuel outlets…but still check before filling with with the RACQ website as haven’t found a app which is as reliable or updated as frequently as this website. It is just a shame that haven’t yet app-ed the website data.


A very good point, which highlights that there are two separate but linked issues around fuel pricing.

The general one, where distributors seem able to keep all fuel prices higher than they should be.

And a regional one over most of the country, where prices are universally higher than in metro areas.


Masters of the obvious?


From memory Victoria was going to try regulating fuel costs many decades ago and the overseas oil companies advised that there was only limited fuel in Australia and they may have to dramatically reduce the quantity coming into Victoria, so the whole idea or regulation fizzled out. As for independents, you need to know who they are buying their fuel from in Australia, as they would not be able to wear the costs of shipping (having their own tankers) and storage in Australia, so they are dependent on on what the big oil companies will sell them fuel for.


Imagine what advice they might offer if they were not so well paid!


Local prices in SE Georgia USA today are around $USD2.70 / US gallon or $USD0.71/l ~> $AUD0.95/l.

Maybe it is the GST (and other taxes, although the US has its share too), or just what if, the improbable that we are free range fodder for big oil. And about those ‘innocent’ price cycles :wink:


While it’s true our fuel pricing includes excise and GST, there’s no question we are being forced to pay the “Australia Tax” for fuel, as we are with so many other things imported here, since our prices are well above what they should be after full allowance for local taxes.

And those “innocent” price cycles are fully justified - or so the ACCC keeps iterating. That’s not the view from the consumer side of the pumps, where the completely artificial fiddling with retail charges looks very much like a long-standing scam to confuse users in an attempt to obfuscate the realisation that we’re being dudded.