As petrol prices surpass dizzying highs earlier this year, a simple trick could mean big savings for Australian drivers.
A simple trick can save drivers up to 40 cents per liter of fuel as staggering gasoline prices in the country continue to rise.
Unleaded fuel cost as much as $2.24 per liter at some Brisbane petrol stations this week, $0.03 per liter more than Queensland’s previous record in March.
It comes at a time when other major capitals are experiencing similar headaches, with unleaded fuel reaching prices of up to $2.26 per liter in Sydney, $2.25 per liter in Melbourne, $2.24 per liter in Adelaide and $2. .09 per liter in Hobart.
The message to consumers from experts like Chris Ford, spokesperson for Compare the Market, is to constantly check fuel cost tracking websites and apps to find the best deals, as prices at different gas stations can vary widely.
“You could be paying too much for your fuel, so the best bet is to do your homework and use the fuel comparison apps to find that cheaper fuel,” said Mr. Ford.
“Very often it can be a suburb or a block away.”
He said there were differences of almost 40c per liter in Sydney because of where the city was placed in the fuel price cycle.
“The best thing to do is look around, it really depends where each city is in the price cycle,” said Mr. Ford.
“These discrepancies are greatest when these new high prices hit the billboards. In Sydney and Brisbane, where we’re seeing these record prices, there’s a very small window for motorists to find cheaper fuel.
“This morning I saw fuel marked (in Sydney) at $1.85 for unleaded 91, with the highest price being $2.24. That is almost 40 cents per liter difference.”
He said that although the differences in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth were smaller, drivers could still save 10 to 15c per liter if they looked around.
A brief reprieve was experienced as the coalition government halved the fuel tax on gasoline and diesel in this year’s federal budget.
The average price of gasoline dropped to just $1.60 a liter in April, but has since risen and passed the dazzling prices of March.
But Mr Ford said current prices would be even higher without the tax cut.
“These are extraordinary prizes at a time when we are all feeling the bottleneck in the hip pocket,” he said.
“The oil price is just below the pre-excise tax peak peaks in early March. It’s just staggering to think that without the tax halving, these prices could be close to $2.50 a liter.”
The six-month cut was introduced to deal with the unstable petrol market after the Russian war in Ukraine affected supply.
The newly elected Labor government has previously confirmed it will not extend the fuel tax cut once it expires in September.
“We have made our position clear and it is not our intention to change that, there are other ways of dealing with the cost of living,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles told Sunrise in late May.
Some of these cost-of-living measures will be introduced in the October budget, although Anthony Albanian has not ruled out more immediate aid.
“Some measures have been taken to alleviate the cost of living, and they are short-lived. That is what the former government has achieved with our support in the form of the fiscal measures,” the prime minister said on Thursday.
“We will of course always look at what is possible, but there is a fiscal context here (and) we will be economically responsible as a government.”
But in the meantime, Mr. Ford warned that “more pain could be coming,” with oil prices expected to rise.
“We’ve seen Goldman Sachs, among others, forecast that oil could rise as high as $150 a barrel. It’s currently trading at about $123,” he said.
“So it looks like there could be even more pain to come.”
It all comes in the lead up to the Queen’s Day long weekend, when petrol prices have traditionally been known to soar during public holidays.
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