RACQ unmasks petrol station ripoff merchants
THE top petrol retailer ripoff merchants have been unmasked by the RACQ. It comes just as prices are beginning to spike again, this time to a predicted $1.60 a litre.
RACQ revealed Coles Express, Caltex and BP had the highest average unleaded petrol (ULP) prices in June, according to price data for major retailers across the Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Ipswich, Logan and Bayside areas.
RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said some of the biggest companies were among the worst offenders.
"Coles Express tops the list for having the highest average prices last month, stinging motorists an average 146.8 cents per litre, almost 3 cents more than Caltex, BP and Freedom," Ms Smith said.
"Both 7-Eleven and Pacific Petroleum weren't far behind, with average prices of 142.9 cents per litre and 142.7 cents per litre respectively.
"Often these bigger companies have the luxury of being located on major, high traffic roads where desperate drivers pull in and fill up because it's convenient, even though cheaper fuel could be just around the corner."
Ms Smith said some of the independent chains had offered bargain deals at the bowser throughout June and urged southeast Queensland drivers to reward those retailers with their business.
"Aggressive discounter, Metro, recently expanded into the State and is giving competitors a run for their money, selling unleaded up to 14 cents per litre less than the most expensive," she said.
"Surprisingly, supermarket giant Woolworths was perhaps the largest retailer offering prices at the cheaper end of the market."
Ms Smith said Brisbane was re-entering the more expensive part of the cycle and urged drivers to shop around, rather than just filling up wherever was closest.
Most prices late on Tuesday night in greater Brisbane hovered in the range from $1.24 to $1.39 per litre.
"(Nearly 21) per cent of retailers in Brisbane are selling at the new high of 165.9 cents per litre,'' she said.
"But there's still cheap fuel available. Check out the apps and websites like RACQ Fair Fuel Finder to locate the best deal in your area and aim to buy for 128 cents or less."
Informed Sources, Petrol Spy, GasBuddy, Comparethemarket and Motormouth also have price comparison apps.
Energy Minister Anthony Lynham announced late last year that Queensland software company Informed Sources was selected to develop a system to collect and distribute petrol prices to fuel price app and web developers, as part of a two-year trial.
The software will capture fuel prices from all Queensland service stations and provide it free to existing smartphone apps and websites.
Average Brisbane unleaded price (cents/litre) last month for major service station brands
Coles Express 146.8
Pacific Petroleum 142.7
Liberty Oil 140.8