22/08/2016 - 12:57

Motorists still paying too much at bowser: ACCC

22/08/2016 - 12:57

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Petrol prices reached 14-year low averages in the past year but gross retail margins hit fresh highs, the competition watchdog says.

Petrol prices reached 14-year low averages in the past year but gross retail margins hit fresh highs, the competition watchdog says.

The average petrol price in Australia’s five largest cities was 121.7 cents a litre in 2015-16, the lowest annual average since 2001-02, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

However, gross retail margins (the difference between retail prices and published wholesale prices) in the cities averaged 11.2 cents per litre, the highest level since the ACCC began monitoring them in 2002.

“We remain concerned about the petroleum industry’s high gross retail margins, which indicate motorists are not reaping the full benefits of lower international crude oil and refined petrol prices,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“Bowser prices for motorists last year were the lowest they’ve been on average for 14 years, but this report suggests that in order for there to be more competitive pressure on retailers, consumers need to shop around and reward those offering the best-priced fuel.”

Mr Sims said more motorists should take advantage of the several fuel price apps currently available that disclose near real-time petrol price information.

“Some motorists have been quick to take advantage of these petrol price apps and are already using them to ensure they are getting the best price when they fill up,” he said.

“This improved price transparency puts pressure on retailers to offer competitive prices or risk customers driving to a petrol station that does.

“We encourage people who are concerned about petrol prices to take advantage of these apps.

“Motorists have the ability to drive competition in the fuel sector literally in their hands.”

 

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