Tom Minear, 24 November 2015

PETROL stations are slugging motorists an extra three cents a litre as the price at the pump balloons beyond the wholesale cost of fuel.

New CommSec research shows the retail price of petrol was 9.5 cents a litre higher than the wholesale price in the first half of this year, and climbing an extra 12.5 cents a litre since.

The figures have prompted warnings for motorists to shop around and not become complacent, even as Melbourne’s average unleaded price fell 7.5 cents last week.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the margin charged by retailers was on an “upward drift”.

“It could be that petrol retailers are finding higher costs, and because of higher costs they’re having to lift their margins,” Mr James said.

“We also don’t know whether it’s a temporary or permanent situation.”

Melbourne’s average unleaded price fell to $1.18 a litre last week, making it the cheapest of all capital cities.

But Mr James said motorists needed to continue putting “competitive pressure” on petrol stations.

“People tend to become a bit more complacent,” Mr James said.

Extracted in full from the Herald Sun.