Drivers must take petrol price power back into their hands: RACQ

As fuel companies continued to punish drivers with high petrol prices, the State’s peak motoring body has urged motorists to take the power back into their hands with savvy shopping.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said international factors, including the falling Australian dollar and volatile global oil prices, had resulted in record high prices in recent weeks.

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“Drivers really are copping it at the bowser – we’ve recently recorded all time price highs in many towns and cities across Queensland,” Ms Ross said.

“While global oil prices have been steadily rising for a number of years, they’ve recently softened, as has the wholesale price, so we expect to see fuel companies pass those savings onto motorists.”

Ms Ross said while global factors were out of motorists’ control, they needed to take back some of the power and use the information available to them to get a better deal on fuel.

“We know, regardless of where you are across the State, there’s a difference between the top and bottom price of the market – it’s really about shopping smart,” she said.

“At RACQ, we calculate the fair price drivers should be paying by taking into account the wholesale price of fuel, the location of the servo and fair retail margins. We’re urging motorists to visit RACQ’s Fair Fuel website to find the fair price and then support the cheapest retailer in their area.”

The advice came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on Tuesday, urged the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to take action to curb high fuel prices.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims told The Australian there was nothing the watchdog could do as there was no evidence of collusion by retailers. He cited international factors, including a falling Australian dollar and the “cartel” behaviour of major exporters in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“In petrol it is just fundamentally different. The fundamental problem has been the OPEC cartel,” Mr Sims said.

“You can understand people’s anger and frustration. Petrol is the ultimate grudge purchase. Everyone has got to buy it and it is causing real pain out there. I get it. I just want people to understand that part of our job is to explain what is going on, as the Prime Minister said.

“But I think if we start looking away from the fact you have got this massive increased price in crude oil, and the exchange rate, that is what is driving what is going on.”