MOTORISTS are being urged to fill up if they see cheap fuel as prices sky rocketed by almost 40 cents a litre on the Gold Coast at the weekend.

On Monday morning the cheapest fuel in the city was Freedom Fuels Coolangatta (105.7 cents a litre), while the most expensive was 145.9 cents a litre.

The average fuel price on the Gold Coast is a 133.6 cents a litre, but the RACQ says that figure could rise.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said cheap fuel would probably disappear very quickly.

“Don’t assume that if you do drive past a service station with cheap fuel that it is going to still be there,” she said.

“We don’t expect them (prices) to go any higher than the 145.9 that we are seeing.

“These sharp increases aren’t unusual. What was really frustrating this time around is we didn’t see the prices stay very long down the bottom (of the fuel cycle) and there wasn’t that opportunity for motorists to fill up at a lower price we would have liked to see before they shot up again.”

During tough coronavirus restrictions earlier in the year most service stations throughout the city were offering unleaded fuel for under $1, which had not been seen in years.

As the restrictions eased, the prices increased.

“There were a lot of factors that went into the very low prices that we saw at certain times during the year, particularly during the start of COVID, we did see fuel drop incredibly low,” Ms Smith said.

“Though that was at a time when we weren’t using our cars … and unfortunately now that more of us are back on the road we are seeing those prices go up again.

“We want to make sure that the fuel companies aren’t taking advantage of motorists, that we’re not getting ripped off, which is why we always remind motorists to fill up when there is cheap fuel because there is such a drastic difference between the bottom and the top of the price cycle in the southeast.”

Ms Smith said fuel companies weren’t getting the sales they would like, particularly in the southern states, which could be behind the price spike.

“The margins are incredibly high right now. It isn’t a shock for us to see the sharp increase. It is sharper than we’re used to, however, and that could be one of the reasons,” she said.

She said it could also be why fuel didn’t go as low and stay as cheap at the bottom of the cycle as they would have liked.

Late last year, the RACQ revealed Gold Coast motorists saved a whopping $13.9 million since the Fuel Price Reporting scheme trial was introduced in December 2018.

Under the scheme, fuel retailers are required to publicly release their petrol prices to fuel price apps so consumers can vote with their feet and go where they can get the best deal near their area.

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