Government-guaranteed real-time fuel pricing information, which would help motorists find the cheapest petrol deal, could be available in South Australia this spring.

The State Government has announced it will conduct a two-year trial of online real-time fuel pricing in response to the findings of a review by South Australian Productivity Commission.

The initiative aims to give motorists real-time information on fuel prices to help them locate the cheapest deal at the bowser.

The commission’s report found that while prices still varied where fuel price monitoring existed, access to data helped consumers find the cheapest fuel.

It looked at the two pricing models currently in place around Australia, WA and Qld.

In Western Australia, prices are frozen for 24 hours while in other jurisdictions, outlets must report all pricing changes.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the commission found the WA model may result in greater compliance costs for fuel retailers.

“After considering this report, we have concluded to trial a real-time option, which would require petrol stations to report any price changes to a centralised database,” she said.

“While this may not reduce the overall cost of petrol, it will help motorists make informed choices and find the cheapest prices at any given time.”

The government aims to begin the two-year trial in spring.

“The government is now working on enabling legislation, before going out to tender to find a data aggregator,” Ms Chapman said.

“The data will be made available for free to private app developers, which is what Queensland have successfully implemented.”

The RAA has long been lobbying for real-time fuel pricing and welcomed the government’s announcement.

“RAA research shows Adelaide has the greatest variation in petrol prices of any state capital, and that’s why RAA has been calling for this,” RAA fuel expert Mark Borlace said.

“The national consumer watchdog, the ACCC, also found real-time fuel pricing could save SA motorists tens of millions of dollars a year, which is why RAA has lobbied hard for it.

“It is so important that motorists will soon have this money saving tool.”

Extracted from Adelaide Now