CHOICE membership

Petrol prices


You lack imagination and vision. Joh Bjelke-Petersen used to push a car that ran on water, they don’t make 'em like that anymore (either one). But He who says we will reach our Paris target in a canter comes close.


I used to push a go-kart that ran on nothing :wink:


I’ve had to do that with the car trying to get to the next servo while shopping around for Mr Sims cheaper petrol!


Do major Political Parties get big Donations from the big Multinational Petrol Companies, that would explain why we are being ripped off constantly by big companies and the Govt is doing nothing.
That is why I believe that Political Donations/Bribes should be banned.


Whilst driving to and from the Cairns CBD today, I took note of the fuel prices.

United. E10, 147.9. U91, 151.9. Diesel, 152.9.

Caltex U91, 161.9. Diesel, 167.9.

The rest were in between United and Caltex.

Why would anyone want to pay 10 cents more for U91 and 15 cents more for diesel?

I wonder if these other servos contemplate just why they have few, If any, vehicles on their driveways.

Our local United servo is always busy.


Some people believe the ads about the benefits of one brand of fuel over all the others.


Two other reasons I can think of -

  • maintenance. I recall one place that always had cheap fuel and ‘anecdotally’ a never ending stream of cars heading for the workshop from bad/dirty fuel. Stories of bad/dirty fuel make me a little sceptical, I’d have thought a good filter and regular maintenance would address that, but I’ve also spoken to people allied with the industry who claim its ‘a thing’.
  • avoiding low aromatic fuel. Most people I know with petrol vehicles use u95 or above because u91 is low aromatic and claimed by many to be no good for engines. The fuel companies disagree, but …

These are both fairly specific … all things being equal I don’t believe anything separates fuels other than cost and hype :wink:


Our dirty fuels article:


Hi Scott,

After reading your article, I called our insurer, Suncorp, and asked what their policy was as I could not find anything relevant in the PDS.

My query caught the staff member out of left field so he asked me to hold while he checked.

He came back to advise that the hierarchy had said that as long as the correct fuel was used and I had the receipt and expert confirmation of the problem, I would be covered.

He also said that it would be best to fill the tank so the servo could not try to pass the buck.

I mentioned that I had been concerned to see their sister company, AAMI, did not cover these problems, to which he advised all members of their group had their own policies.


What gets me is the deceptive use of the pricing boards outside service stations. Since the Queensland State Government forced them to show the full price rather than the discounted price, they’re trying a different scam.
Invariably, the cheapest price is for the E10 fuel, so that get’s the greatest prominence. However, the ‘E10’ is in a minute font which is almost impossible to read unless you’re standing close to the sign. Maybe we now require a regulation to say that the font size must be at least eg 30% of the font used for the pricing.


“Once bitten, twice shy” in Queensland.

Even though we live in Qld I often forget and need a reminder - usually at the bowser when the pump turns on and all the other prices turn off. This is only when away from the local area and in need of fuel. Locally we just go to the Puma up the road as it is nearly always the cheapest and also closest.

Has anyone noticed a spike in diesel fuel?

A larger portion of “personal” use vehicles are using diesel which gives better economy than petrol. The number of new vehicle registrations has doubled the number of diesels on the road. The number using petrol has not increased, while the number of more fuel efficient petrol vehicles has increased.

Is this just a symptom of manipulation of the supply and retail chain for diesel to maintain gross turn over and profits? There is no doubt also some effuse logic within the industry for the movement?


Re insurance exclusions to cover.
From recent discussions I’ve had with several insurers this may be a topic on it’s own?

Several advised that "If it is not an excluded item or condition, it must be included in the cover."

However when pressed on specific relevant examples the answers were less clear. Hopefully Suncorp also followed up by formal correspondence in an email or you have a voice recording for quality and training purposes on your phone?


I don’t have a problem with the cheapest fuel being at the top of the list and therefore getting the greatest prominence. My gripe is that the ‘E10’ is printed in a microscopic font relative to the font which is used to show the price itself.
Not every petrol engine can take E10. Many of the older ones can’t such a high ethanol content, while the higher-compression new engines require premium grade fuel.


The order on the petrol station displays around SE Qld varies. It is not that obvious which price is for what fuel. Yes, you do need to read the smaller fuel type print to be sure.

From regularly travelling in NSW the way E10 is priced varies when compared with Qld. E10 per the motoring organisations is 3% less efficient than standard unleaded so you need to use more. It needed to be approx 4.5c cheaper per litre to make up the difference. In Qld it appeared to be typically only a 3c saving compared with 5c in NSW.

Noticed Qld is now often labelling E10 as RON 94, compared to standard unleaded which is RON 91. This may save if you need higher than RON 91 to meet your models octane ratings, but not much use as you said if you need 98 which is typically 10c to 15c more expensive per litre.

Most older vehicles were never assessed for E10 suitability. Although they would now be very old as even our 14 year old Toyota has an E10 suitable label on the filler door.

edit note: Corrected, RON 95, 92 to read RON 94 and RON 91 respectively.


As an interesting aside, as I notice you mention RON. Thank-you for being specific.

If people are discussing fuels on international forums, particularly ones with people from the US, note ‘octane rating’ is not a term to be relied on in any way. RON, MON, AKI - I won’t go into specifics, but the following Wiki does - worth a look:

Thankfully it seems relative sanity prevails as I believe RON is the unanimous standard in this country (to be clear - Australia for our international readers).


In Sydney, at the servos I frequent, the E10 is shown as 94RON and ULP is 91RON. ( Although only of interest when I fill my wife’s car, as my own car requires 96 or better, so I buy 98RON for that )


Scott, you may be right re the regular unleaded, although perhaps it varies with marketing by brands? (and daylight saving time zones?)
In Qld the state govt lists E10 blends as being 95RON or 98RON, refer

I think at least our local E10 is 95RON by memory.
I’ll recheck both and the standard unleaded locally and make an edit if necessary to clarify.

I’ve interpreted the relatively new practice of labelling E10 here as 95RON as a marketing tactic to think you are getting something better than standard unleaded. The price difference in our part of Qld for E10 has been over the previous years as little as 2c. The saving was not enough to offset the loss of mileage, leaving it as a sort of green extra profit margin or being green tax?


E10 seems to be politicised. In most of the USA it is the defacto standard and ULP hardly exists. Cynics believe it is because of the corn lobby. Some countries offer E15 and some up to E85.

The SA soft sell government site ‘advertises’ ethanol laced fuels. Seen P100 yet?!

The difference in fuel efficiency between E10 and ULP is as has been noted roughly 4%, but that does not necessarily have any direct relationship to production and distribution costs. There is a slightly dated (2010) report from Blind Freddy that discusses some of this. The topic of the report, adapting international pricing parity for ethanol, is precious but fortunately if one has patience it can be educational.


Here’s a screenshot from the NSW state government’s FuelCheck app ( version 1.0.13 ), showing their naming and RON for various fuels:


More now perhaps for us to think about than only making the advertising easier to read?

The annual running cost of a motor vehicle including maintenance, insurance and fuel for most of us is more than our share of the electricity and gas bill? And that is without adding in depreciation or investment opportunity loss on the value of the vehicle.

ABS 6530.0 (2015-2016) Average Household Expendtiture.
Transport: $ 207 weekly
Education: $. 44 weekly
Fuel&Power $. 41 weekly

Is not seeing our motoring costs all in one big quarterly bill preventing us from also asking ten times louder about the cost of owning a vehicle?

p.s. Apologies to those on two wheels, if you feel like you are escaping this for obvious reasons. Our most ardent family two wheel user has the same observation about how quickly the credit card adds up too. While walking is an alternative he misses leaning into the bends while doing so.