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Motorists left in the dark on fuel prices

Saturday, 17th Sep 2016

Site specific fuel prices will no longer be available via RAA’s website due to a deal struck by the ACCC, and it could cost motorists up to $24 a tank when filling up.

RAA Senior Manager Mobility & Automotive Policy Mark Borlace said the agreement comes into effect from today.

“At the moment we receive site specific fuel prices for Adelaide twice a day, and we share that information with motorists via our website,” said Mr Borlace.

“We also use the data to monitor price trends day-to-day, which allows us to notify motorists when a price spike is imminent, just as we did this week when prices spiked +27cpl.

“As of today, we are only able to provide a daily average price for fuel in Adelaide, which is significantly inferior to what motorists have benefited from via our website for more than a decade.”

Using RAA’s website, on occasion Adelaide petrol motorists could spot as much as a 40cpl variation in prices between the best and worst sites.

“Using this information, Adelaide motorists would have saved anywhere between $12 and $24 per 60L tank over the past year,” said Mr Borlace.

“If motorists are left to rely on street price boards, they won’t be able to see the ‘bigger picture’ to decide which route to take on any given day to get the best deal on fuel.”

RAA is disappointed that motorists will not be able to get reliable site-specific fuel price information online as a consequence of the ACCC’s deal with the fuel industry, and has called on the State Government to take action.

“Earlier this year, New South Wales introduced legislation that compels every fuel retailer to report their fuel prices in real-time to a government agency who provides this to the public free of charge without any restrictions,” said Mr Borlace.

“Not only would an initiative like this allow motorists to find the cheapest prices, it also means we could continue to scrutinise the fuel industry and enhance competition amongst retailers who have to compete with a good price to attract customers.”

RAA will continue to investigate all avenues to cater for motorists’ needs when it comes to purchasing fuel.

“Limited pricing information is available via a number of smartphone apps but these offerings do not reliably tell motorists where to find the cheapest fuel,” said Mr Borlace.

“We’re also concerned that by only providing fuel prices in one format, it disadvantages over half of our members who don’t use smartphone apps. These people are generally the most sensitive to fuel price movements and would benefit most from knowing where to find the cheapest prices.

“In reality, most motorists will be left in the dark when it comes to fuel prices due to the ACCC’s agreement with the fuel industry.” 

SA Fuel price information is available at raa.com.au/fuel

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