Karen Collier, 21 February 2016

PETROL outlets will be banned from displaying discounted prices on Victorian fuel boards.

Supermarket giants and other servos will be forced to show only full prices under planned regulations to be in force by the end of the year amid concerns many motorists are being misled.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett said busy drivers making “split second” decisions could easily be lured into paying a higher-than-expected price if they did not have a supermarket shopper docket.

“Fuel can chew up a huge amount of a family’s budget each week. When Victorians are pulling into the bowser we want them to do so on the basis of the real price of fuel so they can make informed decisions about when and where they want to buy petrol,” she said.

The Herald Sun first revealed in November last year that the Government was considering the crackdown, already in place in other states including NSW and South Australia.

Ms Garrett stressed that shopper dockets would not be abolished.

Operators would also still be able to note offers such as 4c off on boards — but not the discounted dollar amount.

Servos ignoring the new rules will face more than $3000 in fines per board.

“We don’t want Victorians to be in a situation where they’re pulling in and filling up and getting to the check-out point and realising that what they thought they would pay for the fuel isn’t that at all, and the real price is much higher because they don’t have the relevant shopper dockets.”

RACV public policy general manager Brian Negus said its research had found current price boards “genuinely confused” more than two-thirds of motorists.

Coles has previously warned altering its signs at more than 200 Victorian outlets will cost more than $1 million, an impost that could be passed on to drivers through higher prices.

Ms Garrett said the community would take a dark view if small costs for a “very simple fix” were passed on.

The RACV is also urging servos to always display premium unleaded petrol prices to help motorists shop around.

Extracted in full from the Herald Sun.