Price shock at bowser

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - OLIVIA REED

PETROL prices in Gee­long jumped al­most 30 cents a litre overnight on Thurs­day, with mo­torists forced to pay al­most $1.50 a litre at Coles out­lets.

Mean­while, other re­tail­ers were still sell­ing petrol for just over $1.20 a litre yesterday morn­ing, with the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion warn­ing petrol prices were set to rise.

ACCC Com­mis­sioner Mick Keogh said while price cy­cles were not il­le­gal, re­tail­ers’ use of price cy­cles to max­imise prof­its in­fu­ri­ated drivers.

“It’s not un­com­mon for drivers to no­tice prices jump­ing 20 cents or more in a very short pe­riod of time, and the price you see be­ing charged on the way to work can be very dif­fer­ent to the one on the way home,” Mr Keogh said.

“There’s a com­mon per­cep­tion that all re­tail­ers put their prices up or down at ex­actly the same time, but our re­search shows this isn’t the case, so if you see prices go­ing up at one re­tailer, use an app to find an­other who hasn’t yet raised their price.

“For drivers who don’t use their cars that of­ten, or drive as far, it is pos­si­ble to time pur­chases at the low point of the cy­cle and pay be­low what it costs re­tail­ers.”

The ACCC has found the es­ti­mated yearly sav­ings made by buy­ing at the low point of the cy­cle are about $175 in Syd­ney, $150 in Melbourne and Bris­bane, and $200 in Adelaide, while Perth mo­torists can save up to $520 a year.

The ACCC es­ti­mates if all mo­torists took ad­van­tage of the where and when to buy petrol, to­tal po­ten­tial an­nual sav­ings would be about $260 mil­lion in Syd­ney, $220 mil­lion in Melbourne, $105 mil­lion in Bris­bane and $75 mil­lion in Adelaide.

The cheap­est petrol in Gee­long yesterday morn­ing was $1.21 a litre, with Torquay also record­ing $1.21.

Prices in Drys­dale soared to $1.49 at three out­lets, while Melbourne prices were also push­ing past the $1.40 mark.

In 2015-16, Aus­tralia im­ported 31 per cent of its petrol from South Korea, 25 per cent from Sin­ga­pore, 9 per cent from In­dia, 16 per cent from Ja­pan and 19 per cent from other coun­tries in­clud­ing Malaysia, In­done­sia, Chi­nese Taipei, Thai­land and the US.

“Our ad­vice is to stay ac­tive in the mar­ket. If you don’t need to fill up as of­ten, keep an eye on the ACCC’s price cy­cle buy­ing tips and com­bine this with petrol price com­par­i­son web­sites and apps to find cheap petrol in your area. Don’t wait for your petrol gauge to get to empty: if the cy­cle is at or near the bot­tom, buy petrol,” Mr Keogh said.

“Favour­ing the best-priced re­tail­ers sends a clear sig­nal to petrol sta­tions about what they need to do to get your busi­ness.”

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