New apps which help motorists find the cheapest petrol in their area are essentially making big supermarket shopping docket fuel savings redundant.
Woolworths sold its 527 Australian petrol stations to British oil giant BP last week for $1.8 billion.
Contract loser Caltex used the opportunity to take aim at the shopping docket system, saying their popularity has plummeted.
The NRMA, which recently launched a petrol price search function on its app, agrees.
“The four cents a litre discount doesn’t mean much when the service station is sometimes 10 and 20 cents more than their competitors,” NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury told A Current Affair.
“Not only do we suggest that independent service stations are competitive, we simply can’t live without them. Without independents, you can be certain that petrol prices right across Australia will be much higher than they are.”
Apco Service Stations owner Peter Anderson admits business was struggling when Coles and Woolworths were offering petrol discounts of up to 40 percent, but now it’s game on.
“We were extremely concerned about them when they came in. We couldn’t compete with the discounts they were offering,” Mr Anderson said.
“In recent times, we’ve been in a position where we’ve been selling on the board cheaper than four cents often on the board to the competitors down the road.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has since cracked down on the big supermarkets from offering huge petrol discounts.
At Coles, spending $30 in store will save you four cents a litre on petrol. If you then spend $20 at a Coles service station, you will get another 10 cents per litre off.
It’s a similar story at Woolworths, where spending $30 in store will also save you four cents a litre. But unlike Coles, you only have to spend $10 at their petrol stations to receive another 10 cent discount.
Professor of business at Queensland University of Technology Gary Mortimer says websites like Motor Mouth and the NRMA’s new petrol app giving motorists real-time price details for each suburb have made shopping dockets a thing of the past.
“Certainly, when the savings were eight, 12, 20 or even 40 cents per litre there was really savings to be had,” Mr Mortimer said.
“But really, no one’s travelling around and saving dockets for such a small saving.”
Extracted from 9 News.