Filling the tank is a grudge purchase – we do it, but we do not like doing it and therefore feel annoyed at the cost.

Tasmanians have known for a long time that we pay more at the bowser than what transport and supply demands would reasonably allow.

That is sometimes as much as 20 cents per litre above some mainland cities.

So anything that gives consumers free and accurate information so that they can make informed spending choices is welcome.

A real-time fuel pricing app is being promoted by the RACT, with a $60,000 grant from the state government.

It will allow consumers to check prices in their area before filling up.

Plans to ensure petrol stations display the undiscounted price in onsite advertising is another measure being worked on.

RACT chief executive Harvey Lennon said getting “timely and transparent” petrol price information was a good thing for motorists.

“Inconsistent fuel price boards at petrol stations across the state make it difficult for motorists to accurately compare prices, or even know what they will pay for their fuel,” he said.

The information will bring Tasmania into line with NSW, South Australia and Victoria.

Information is one thing – whether it brings motorists any relief at the petrol pump is another entirely.

A report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found Launceston’s fuel prices were 12 cents per litre more than in the five largest cities.

Similar price discrepancies no doubt abound on the Coast – probably more inflated.

Tasmanian motorists will be wary of celebrating a reduction in fuel costs too soon.

Many solutions and suggestions have come and gone with little or no impact at the bowser.

A lot of that can be attributed to human nature and our willingness, in a time poor society, to accept what is on offer without shopping around.

It is the same situation with banks charging a fee for using other institution’s automatic teller machines. We gripe about the cost, but are not willing to walk to a free location because of the convenience and time factor.

Yet knowledge is power for the consumer.

Here’s hoping it puts pressure on sites with higher prices once they start losing out on business from cheaper stations.

Extracted from The Advocate.