The state’s leading motorist body has accused service stations on the southern end of the Sunshine Coast of price gouging after their average unleaded price exceeded its average fair fuel price.

RACQ said Coast motorists were getting a raw deal with a recent spike in the cost of unleaded fuel.

Yesterday prices ranged from as low as 112.9 cents per litre in Nambour up to 139.9 cpl in Caloundra.

There were also many variations in the same suburb.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said with an average of 132.3cpl, prices across much of the region were far too high.

“Many Sunshine Coast service stations have increased ULP prices, a move we believe is completely unjustified,” Ms Smith said.

“Oil prices have been falling in the past few weeks and we’re also seeing that drop now flow through to the wholesale price.

“Taking these factors into account a fair price for service stations to be charging would be 129cpl, which would still allow for healthy retail margins of around seven cpl.

“There is no good reason for this recent jump and we can only put it down to greedy retailers price gouging.”

With a 20 cent difference between the lowest and highest price, Ms Smith urged drivers to let their dollars do the talking.

“Take advantage of the cheaper prices in those areas and don’t wait until you are on empty and have to go wherever is the closest,” she said.

“The best thing motorists can do is support those stations with lower prices and that will force the others to lower their prices.”

Several fuel companies and local service stations were contacted by the Daily but declined to comment. Sunshine Coast motorists can use RACQ’s Fair Fuel Price service to find the cheapest service stations in their area: http://www.racq.com/fairfuel.

Extracted in full from the Sunshine Coast Daily.