‘Ready reckoner’ set to cut grey nomad fuel costs

Published: October 10, 2016
ready reckoner for fuel prices

Grey nomads could be among the big winners as the nation’s competition watchdog seeks to further reduce the price gap between regional and metropolitan fuel outlets.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims told News Corp Australia he hopes to publish early next year a ‘ready reckoner’ showing the reasonable additional amount a motorist can expect to be charged in any given town.

After investigating the fuel markets in Darwin, Launceston, Armidale and Cairns, the ACCC is aware for the first time of the extra costs retailers face for transport — and the effect of having lower sales volumes relative to city service stations.

News Corp Australia reports that, armed with this information, the watchdog will aim to produce a ready reckoner of what fuel should cost in various places.

Mr Sims said the ACCC may be able to produce ‘bands’ showing the premium that should apply given how far the fuel has had to come from a terminal and how much fuel is sold in that market.

He said that the gap between city and country prices has been decreasing because petrol retailers who gouged customers in any given location now faced the prospect of being the next target of a regional study.

Following the probes in Darwin and Launceston, motorists in both were getting a better deal, he said. The Armidale and Cairns studies have yet to be completed.

“People know if they stick out like the proverbial there’s a very good chance they will get called out,” Mr Sims told News Corp Australia.

That wasn’t the case before the first of the regional studies — in Darwin — began early last year. At the end of 2014, the average regional price nationally was 17.5 cents per litre higher than in the five largest cities; by mid 2016 it was just 2.3c/L.

“That is very pleasing,” Mr Sims said.

·         Have you noticed that fuel prices in the region are more competitive? Comment below.

3 Comments
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Peter Millar
5 years ago

If you want to be gouged by fuel prices, come to the Atherton Tablelands. Price fixing is rife up here. In Atherton & Mareeba the prices consistently have a variance of 0.1c a ltr with LPG 33c a ltr dearer than say Townsville.
The cheapest fuel is in Mt Garnet followed by Ravenshoe.

Robyn Davies
5 years ago

In our (country) area, only one out of the five servos sells 95 ULP. The rest sell only 91 and 98. The price difference between 91 and 98 is up to 20 cents per litre.

Sarah
5 years ago

About time!!

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