ACCC Report reveals huge petrol retailer price differences

A new in-depth petrol report published by the ACCC this month has suggested that prices for petrol vary significantly by retailer, with Coles Express cited as the most expensive on average across the five main capital cities. Woolworths and independent retailers were generally the cheapest.

The ACCC’s report, which details annual average retail petrol prices throughout 2017, identified the highest- and lowest-priced major retailers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The difference in prices on average across retailers ranged from 9.5 cents per litre recorded in Sydney to 3.6 cents per litre in Melbourne.

“Independent chains were the lowest for prices in each of the five major cities and Woolworths was generally below the market average price in most cities,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Average prices at Coles Express were the highest and average prices at retail sites where BP and Caltex head offices set the retail price were generally above the market average price.

“The majority of consumers tend to go to the same petrol station every time they fill up. This research shows it might be time to consider which station to fill up at.”

The report also examined the difference between average prices in 2017 and those in 2007. It found the range between major retailers charging the highest average price and those charging the lowest average price had increased significantly since 2007.

In December 2017, federal Treasurer Scott Morrison directed the ACCC to monitor the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of petroleum products and related services in Australia. Under this direction, the ACCC produces quarterly petrol-monitoring reports and industry reports. This is the first of the petrol industry reports.

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