By Victor Harbor Times, 15 July 2015

Petrol at Victor Harbor was generally cheaper than in Adelaide last month, according to the RAA.

The finding has emerged from the automotive association’s fuel monitoring activities in selected country towns, of which Victor Harbor is one of them.

RAA senior analyst Chris West said Victor Harbor was cheaper than Adelaide 70 per cent of the time during the month of June. He attributed this to Adelaide’s fluctuating petrol price cycle.

In the past month and a half, Mr West said regional areas have not seen price spikes to $1.50 per litre, unlike in Adelaide.

Mr West said feedback from members indicated Goolwa and Yankalilla prices are generally higher than Victor Harbor, and Strathalbyn’s can vary.

Mr West said competition between businesses could result in lower prices, unique product offerings or superior customer service and experience.

He said most SA country retailers have delayed passing on wholesale fuel prices to customers for the past few months. But a year ago, RAA noticed regional sellers were charging high margins for fuel.

Mr West advised motorists to check the RAA’s website to compare Adelaide’s price and local prices to get the best deal.

The land Caltex Victor Harbor sits on is owned by Adelaide Fuel Distributors.

Business manager Steve Hill said the company follows the fuel prices set by larger companies.

He said big chain stores across the state dominate the market.

“We try to compete as good as we can,” he said.

“Sometimes we can’t go as low as they do.”

Liberty Victor Harbor owner Lv McDonald said she follows the prices of large retailers.

“We’re the small ones, we can’t do anything about it,” she said.

Mrs McDonald said it was a struggle to run the shop with very slim margins on fuel and compete with other suppliers. For example, if she put the price of diesel up by two cents, customers would say something.

Mrs McDonald has been accepting fuel vouchers as an incentive for customers to visit her station. She has also negotiated the price of fuel for some people in agriculture and other industries.

Michael Schubert of Encounter Bay buys unleaded petrol for his car.

He travels to Adelaide’s southern suburbs twice a week.

Mr Schubert said he had noticed petrol had been cheaper locally than in the state’s metropolitan areas.

He said he does not particularly shop around for cheaper petrol.

“If I need it, I need it,” he said.

Mr Schubert said he tries to fill up his car locally because of convenience, particularly if he is planning on going for a longer trip.

Extracted in full from the Victor Harbor Times.