THE Gold Coast is saving more than a million dollars a month since service stations were forced to report petrol prices online.

The RACQ has revealed Gold Coast motorists have retained a whopping $13.9 million in their hip pocket since the Fuel Price Reporting scheme trial was introduced in December last year.

The motoring club estimates the scheme has forced retailers to drop the price of unleaded petrol by an average of 2.6 cents a litre.

Under the scheme trial fuel retailers are required to publicly release their petrol prices as they change.

The average Gold Coast fuel price yesterday was 137.7 cents per litre which was said to be a fair fuel price with the costs of petrol on the way down.

Petrol prices for individual fuel stations are also available.

Prior to the scheme, motorist would not have that information at their fingertips and instead have to drive to multiple service stations to obtain the lowest price.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said yesterday the price transparency now meant Gold Coast motorists were reaping the benefit of one of the largest savings in the state.

“It’s clear fuel is cheaper now than what it would’ve been without the scheme,” she said.

“Prices will always fluctuate depending on the oil prices and Singapore prices, but this is a simple way drivers can make informed decisions and reward the service stations doing the right thing and charging fair fuel prices.”

The trial is only half way through but already the RACQ is calling for the scheme to be made permanent.

“Motorists are taking the power back and they are saving,” Ms Smith said.

An app developed by the RACQ has already been downloaded more than 90,000 times.

Across Queensland more than $122.8 million has been saved by motorists because of the transparency in fuel prices.

The two-year trial was only put in place after an outcry from the public and Gold Coast opposition MPs in September who were sick of being “ripped off” at the bowser.

The outcry led to a national fuel strike in October where motorists refused to buy fuel that day.

“These companies are gouging Australians. When the Australian dollar is weak – which it supposedly is at present – petrol goes up, but it’s not that weak,” Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek said at the time.

“It seems they are gouging through school holidays and the lead-up to public holidays and no one does anything about it.”

Extracted from Gold Coast Bulletin