The cost of fuel is something that is often on our minds. We check the boards as we drive past the servo to look for good deals, or we use fuel vouchers to save a few dollars on this regular expense. But did you know current petrol prices are the cheapest they’ve been since 2002?
According to a report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, quarterly average petrol prices in the five largest cities have dropped by 3.9 cents per litre from last quarter, but average prices from 2016-17 were at their lowest since 2001-02.
While that’s cause for some to celebrate, the ACCC believe it’s not good enough, revealing profit margins for servos are also at their highest.
“While motorists are enjoying the cheapest petrol since 2002, we believe prices should have been even lower given the continuing high gross retail margins,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
While an increase in business operating costs is fair cause to explain some of the margin, Sims said some regions were getting a lot more from the bowser than what they were paying out, particularly in regional parts of Australia.
“Of the price paid at the bowser, 42 per cent is the international price of refined petrol. Another 42 per cent is taxes (i.e. GST and excise).”
The ACCC suggested the best way to find the cheapest fuel in your area was through the use of fuel price apps that review the local petrol stations in your area. Fuel Map, GasBuddy or MotorMouth
“Competition is driven by the willingness of motorists to shop around for the best price.”