Toowoomba drivers witness birth of local fuel price cycle

The State’s peak motoring body has revealed Toowoomba has developed its own fuel price cycle, a first for regional Queensland.

Previously only Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast had been subjected to a fuel cycle, where prices at the bowser went from high to low, usually over a four to six week period.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith warned regional drivers not to expect to automatically reap the benefits of cheap fuel like their counterparts in the south east.   

“Usually in those south east markets prices go from cheap to expensive, jumping by as much as 40 cents per litre (cpl) in just a matter of days,” Ms Smith said.

“Regional Queensland towns, like Toowoomba, have not previously had cyclic activity, meaning changes to the cost at the pump are minimal and largely due to global factors like oil prices and the Australian dollar, varying in price by just a few cents per litre.  

“What we’re now seeing is the Garden City has started to develop its own unique pricing behaviour, with hikes observed in May, June and July.

“But frustratingly for local motorists, unlike the south east cycle, we’re not seeing prices fall back down again as quickly or as low.

“In order for Toowoomba motorists to be able to compete in this new era, they will have to become far more savvy about when prices are high and low and only buy from retailers charging fair prices.”

Ms Smith said currently Toowoomba was in an expensive period with the average price 133.9cpl, up from 121cpl just last week.

“It’s not a good time to fill up the tank unless you can find one of the one of the few cheaper servos keeping prices as low at 115cpl. Otherwise avoid the bowser, top up only, or wait for prices to fall,” she said.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital Toowoomba drivers shop around and only reward those servos offering competitive prices. It’s an easy habit to get into if you use apps and websites like RACQ’s Fair Fuel Finder.”