Australians are still getting ripped off at the petrol pump despite enjoying some of the lowest fuel prices in close to a decade.

Analysis by the Australian Automobile Association shows the average annual retailer profit margin has risen 35 per cent since February 2012, from 8.9 per cent to 12.3 per cent.

As the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission prepares to release its first quarterly report on petrol prices this week, the News Corp Australia can reveal retailers are getting more in their pockets for no reason as the oil price drops and fuel prices are the lowest they have been since 2008.

The retail price creep comes in spite of moves by the Government to shine a greater spotlight on petrol prices through more regular reporting from the ACCC.

The average motorist – travelling the average annual distance (13,200km) using the average annual consumption (11.1 litres/100km) – is paying upwards of $50 in extra margins as a result of the price gouge compared to three years ago. The retail price creep comes in spite of moves by the Government to shine a greater spotlight on petrol prices through more regular reporting from the ACCC.

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In the week ending February 12, 2012, the 12-month period average unleaded retail petrol margin was 8.9c per litre. Three years later, data for the week ending February 8 shows a 12-month average retail petrol margin of 12.3c per litre, an increase of 3.4c per litre or 35 per cent.

Motorists driving Australia’s best-selling car of 2014, the Toyota Corolla, are paying $1.87 a tank more than they would have if retail margins had remained at 2012 levels. People driving a Holden Commodore are paying an additional $2.41 per tank, while those driving a Ford Ranger are paying $2.72 more than they would have in 2012.

While motorists are paying significantly less for unleaded petrol in cities across Australia, these savings are due to lower wholesale costs rather than discounting by retailers.

The average price of unleaded petrol in Melbourne in February 2012 was 137.7c per litre compared to this month which was 107.2c per litre – the lowest across the country.

Australian Automobile Association acting chief executive James Goodwin said he was “deeply concerned” by the fact consumers had been getting ripped off. “It’s very simple; prices have not been as low as they should have been,” Mr Goodwin said. “We’re deeply concerned the full impact of lower international oil prices has not been passed on to motorists. Motorists deserve a fair go.”

Extracted in full from Cars Guide.