Forget major petrol giants like Shell, BP and Caltex; Aussie motorists who switch to small independent petrol retailers stand to save nearly half a billion dollars in savings, the consumer watchdog has revealed.
Sydneysiders who fueled up at the most expensive petrol retailers could have saved $445 across 2020, or $317 for Melbourne residents and $330 for those in Adelaide if they had opted for the lowest-priced independent chain.
The difference between the most expensive petrol retailer and the cheapest increased from 8.4 cents per litre (cpl) in 2019 to 11.4 cpl in 2020, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The range of petrol prices means Aussies can make “very significant” potential savings by filling up at cheaper retailers, said ACCC chair Rod Sims.
“We often hear that all petrol prices are the same but this report shows that people living in capital cities do have [a] choice about where they get their fuel, and how much they pay for it,” he said.
Ordinary unleaded petrol sold in Australia generally comes from the same refineries or import terminals, with all retailers required to meet the same minimum quality standards, he added.
“This means that motorists are getting petrol of a similar quality regardless of where they fill up.”
ACCC analysis shows that independent chains were consistently the cheapest petrol retailers across capital cities, Sims said.
“People who choose to buy petrol at one location because it suits their needs can continue exercising their consumer choice. But we want Australians to know that there is a range of petrol retailers out there with different offerings, including cheaper petrol.”
Where to fuel up each capital city
Sydneysiders should fuel up at Speedway, while Melbournians and Canberrans will keep more money in their pockets by refueling at Metro.
Meanwhile, Brisbanites, Hobartians and Adelaideans should top up at United, while Vibe should be the petrol station of choice for Perth residents.
People in Darwin should fuel up at FuelXpress to make the greatest savings.
“There are a number of independent chains in our largest capital cities with many retail sites, so a lot of motorists won’t have to go far to find cheaper fuel if they want it,” said Sims.
Where NOT to fuel up in each capital city
Sydneysiders and Melbournians should side-step BP, as this petrol giant had the most expensive prices in Australia’s two largest cities.
Meanwhile, Brisbanites and Canberrans should avoid Coles Express (i.e. Viva Energy).
Adelaide residents copped the highest prices from Caltex, while BP Sanzone and Puma Energy were the most expensive fuel retailers for Perth and Darwin respectively.