Brisbane motorists have been urged to take the power back from overcharging service stations after paying almost 14¢ a litre more for unleaded petrol in 2018 than the previous year.
They also paid 3¢ a litre more than motorists in any other capital city, according to a 12-month summary of fuel prices by the RACQ.
Brisbane drivers copped their highest-ever bowser price in October, when unleaded petrol cost $1.69 a litre.
Diesel fuel prices also jumped to an average $1.50 a litre, more than 20¢ higher than 2017.
RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross described Queensland’s petrol price hike as “outrageous”.
“Once again we are seeing Brisbane drivers pay more for their petrol than any other capital city around the country,” Ms Ross said.
“Of the capital cities, Brisbane was the most expensive place for unleaded petrol and there is simply no good reason for it.”
Throughout last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission repeatedly found higher profit margins at Brisbane service stations than in any other Australian capital city, largely blaming a lack of competition.
In February 2018, the ACCC reported the higher prices were equivalent to Brisbane motorists being “ripped off” $50 million a year for eight years in a row.
The 143.9¢ a litre unleaded petrol average was 3.6¢ more than in Adelaide, 2.7¢ more than Sydney, 1.2¢ more than Melbourne and 1¢ more than the Perth average, the RACQ fuel price watch survey found.
Ms Ross said 2018 was a “terrible year” for fuel price variability in Queensland.
“We saw in October the highest-ever price in Brisbane, when $1.69 per litre was the daily average,” she said.
“That was a shockingly high price that motorists copped.”
The only bright spot was a slight drop in prices at some regional centres.
“There is some good news for drivers in the south-west town of Miles, though, they enjoyed the cheapest prices in Queensland, with an average of 141.6 cents per litre,” Ms Ross said.
The RACQ’s Annual Fuel Price Report Summary notes fuel prices sunk towards the end of the yearbut motorists are warned prices could jump towards $1.40 a litre within a week, as people return from holidays.
Ms Ross said even though RACQ and ACCC studies showed Brisbane drivers paid more for petrol, they had not identified illegal collusion between fuel companies.
“It is actually really difficult to do anything,” Ms Ross said.
“The ACCC has investigated the Brisbane market previously and did not find any illegal behavior.
“There were no laws being broken by servos.”
Consumers were urged to refuse to buy petrol at high prices and shop around for the lowest price.
“As frustrating as it is, we – as drivers – have to take the power back into our own hands and shop at the cheapest servos,” Ms Ross said.
“There are plenty of servos that are charging fairer prices, but people need to use the apps and website to find out where they are.
“So rather than just filling up at the servo on your way home from work because it is convenient, spend 30 seconds before you jump in your car and make a decision to drive to the street over which is not on the main road and the price for fuel is cheaper.”
Extracted from The Age