Furious drivers have slammed Coles after two petrol stations on the same road were seen with an advertised price difference of 42 cents per litre.

Motorists on the Melton Highway in north-west Melbourne spotted two Shell Coles Express petrol stations just over one kilometre apart on Thursday evening with a huge gap in their unleaded petrol price.

An image posted on Reddit shows the identical stations displaying $129.9/L and $171.9/L respectively.

‘I drive past these two service stations every day, morning and evening. Pricing has not changed in at least 24 hours,’ the post reads.

Reddit users have accused Coles of ‘price gouging’ after two petrol stations on the same road were seen advertising a drastic difference in their unleaded fuel price (pictured) 

‘I do understand competitive pricing with a competitors brand, having managed convenience stores myself. These two though…you can just see one from the driveway at the other.’ADVERTISING

Online commentators accused Coles of ‘price gouging’ for the apparent difference in fuel cost.

Coles signed a fuel supply agreement with Viva Energy earlier this year, with part of the deal giving Viva the right to set the retail price of fuel in stores.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website says that fuel prices cycles can differ based on factors including ‘changes in international benchmark prices, the value of the Australian dollar, competition in different areas and pricing decisions by wholesalers and retailers.’

When businesses are selling fuel at the bottom of their price cycle, the price point can become unsustainable, requiring business to lift their prices in order to recoup margins until competition evidently forces prices downwards again.

Daily Mail Australia have contacted the two petrol stations in question, but both were legally unable to tell what their advertised unleaded price was on Friday. 

Reddit users noted that petrol prices jump at varying times throughout the country, even with the same umbrella companies.

‘Almost all of the petrol price fluctuations are artificial,’ one comment says. ‘This is an established fact that even the ACCC is aware of, but can’t do anything about.’

When businesses are selling fuel at the bottom of their price cycle, the price point can become unsustainable, requiring business to lift their prices in order to recoup margins until competition evidently forces prices downwards again (stock image)

‘This is also why it takes time for the change to spread, because it takes time for the other petrol stations to notice and change their prices.’ 

‘I think there should be limitations on prices set by very powerful corporations especially when they have effective monopoly control, but in general servos are the free market at its best,’ another post reads.

‘If you don’t like the price, organise yourself to buy at the cheaper part of the cycle.’

Viva Energy have released a statement to Daily Mail Australia. 

‘There are a variety of local factors that influence the retail price of fuel including local competition, different pricing strategies and whether the price cycle is in a period of discounting or restoration.’

‘In the case of the two sites on the Melton Highway, prices at one site have been restored ahead of the other site.

‘Since taking over retail fuel pricing at Shell Coles Express sites in March 2019, Viva Energy has been working on a number of strategies to provide a more competitive and consistent fuel offer across the Shell Coles Express network.’

Extracted from Daily Mail