High prices not the new norm: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has put fuel companies on notice, accusing them of gouging during the south east Queensland price cycle.

RACQ analysis of fuel data over the past 12 months revealed price hikes had almost doubled to 40 cents per litre (cpl).

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the sharp and excessive increase been observed since February 2019, and she believed fuel companies were trying to normalise excessive hiking. 

“While we know fuel operates on a cycle here in south east Queensland where we see prices go from cheap to expensive every few weeks, retailers are trying to convince us that it’s normal to see prices jump from around 130cpl to more than 170cpl overnight. It’s not,” Ms Smith said.  

“These fuel companies are unfairly taking advantage of customers while they rake in hefty retail margins.

“It’s not right, it’s not fair and we don’t want motorists to accept this behaviour or reward it.”

Ms Smith urged Brisbane drivers to turn their backs on servos ripping motorists off. 

“Drivers have all the knowledge and power with access to transparent fuel price information, with prices published in real-time on apps and websites like RACQ’s Fair Fuel Finder,” she said.

“We need motorists to use this information to shop smart and refuse to give these fuel companies their business to drive down prices.”

Currently Brisbane was entering the expensive phase of the price cycle with the average price for unleaded 150cpl. 

Ms Smith said there was a silver lining to the changes in the fuel price behaviour by retailers. 

“While we’re seeing these very high points in the price cycle, we are seeing retailers discount faster than before,” she said. 

“We used to see retailers drop their prices around one cent per litre per day, but now we are seeing price fall by up to four cents per litre per day. 

“It’s so important to listen to our advice on when the right time to purchase fuel and to hold off filling up or as long as possible in the expensive phase because you will save the longer you wait.”