The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) analysed monthly and annual average retail petrol prices in 2017 to identify the highest and lowest priced major retailers of petrol on average in each of the five largest cities (i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). Regular unleaded petrol (RULP) prices were analysed in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, and E10 (i.e. RULP with up to 10 per cent ethanol) prices were analysed in Sydney.
For the purposes of this analysis, a major retailer is defined as a retailer that determines the retail price of petrol at 10 or more retail sites in the city. The retail sites of non-major retailers are included in the analysis in a ‘small independents’ category. The BP and Caltex retail sites at which BP and Caltex set the price (i.e. company owned and company operated retail sites and commission agent retail sites) are referred to as BP and Caltex COCO sites.
By choosing to buy petrol at lower priced retailers, consumers can make significant savings over time.
The information about the relative average prices of the major retailers contained in this report can be used by motorists, in conjunction with other publicly available fuel price information, to help make more informed purchasing decisions.
There are a variety of fuel price websites and apps that provide information to motorists about petrol prices. These include: the NSW FuelCheck website and app; the Northern Territory MyFuel NT website and app; the WA FuelWatch website; the MotorMouth website and app, and apps operated by GasBuddy, the NRMA, 7-Eleven and Woolworths. There are differences in the quality of the price data available from these websites and apps as well as the frequency with which it is updated.
However, readily available information about current retail petrol prices enables motorists to shop around and purchase petrol at relatively lower priced retail sites. Not only do motorists benefit from those lower prices, but the availability of petrol price data may promote competitive market behaviour. It will reward those retailers that are prepared to compete actively on price, because their pricing behaviour can be seen, and acted upon, by motorists.