Noel Fabre fills up at Tyres & More, Red Hill. Drivers can save money by avoiding the height of the price cycle. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter
Noel Fabre fills up at Tyres & More, Red Hill. Drivers can save money by avoiding the height of the price cycle. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter

How to save $125 a year on petrol

CANNY motorists could save themselves $125 a year by avoiding the peak of the petrol price cycle.

Analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows the combined savings across Brisbane would top $77 million a year.

"It's well worth having and it does not take a lot of effort to achieve," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

Drivers who avoided filling up on the 10 most expensive days around the height of the price cycles would save an average 4.1 cents per litre.

Noel Fabre fills up at Tyres & More, Red Hill. Drivers can save money by avoiding the height of the price cycle. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter
Noel Fabre fills up at Tyres & More, Red Hill. Drivers can save money by avoiding the height of the price cycle. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter

"If you have to fill up weekly it's more difficult, but you can always put in just enough to get you by and then put more in once the price falls," Mr Sims said.

Even dodging just the six most expensive days in 2017-18, a Brisbane car owner with a 60-litre tank would have been $70 better off.

A two-year "real time" fuel price reporting trial due to begin in Queensland in December would make it easier for drivers to keep track and get the best deals.

The ACCC's latest petrol monitoring report, released this week, revealed that Brisbane motorists are still paying more than those in other capital cities for fuel. Prices around the country hit a four-year high in the last quarter to June.

The average Brisbane price of 148.4 cents per litre of unleaded was 4.1c higher than the average across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Brisbane prices have been the highest of the five major cities for 18 of the past 24 months.

Mr Sims said major factors behind the recent price rises were an increase in international crude oil and refined petrol prices and a lower AUD-USD exchange rate.

However, the ACCC report also showed that the gross margins Australian petrol retailers were getting for every litre sold added to the price pressure.

Average gross retail margins hit a record high 12.8 cents per litre in 2017-18. Again Brisbane was highest, with an average 15.5 cpl.

"Current gross retail margins in the five largest cities are now over 50 per cent above the 16-year average since the ACCC began tracking this data." Mr Sims said.

RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said: "Queenslanders copped record high prices in the second quarter. Not only did we nudge four-year highs in April and May in the southeast, we also saw this trend across a number of regional Queensland centres."

The real-time price data trial would be "a game-changer", but only if drivers were "proactive in using that information to shun the servos charging high prices and to give their business to the cheapest retailers to save dollars".



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