Independent retailers dominated the list of Perth’s cheapest petrol stations in 2023 — in what was the city’s most expensive year for fuel ever.

Costco’s airport and Casuarina outlets claimed top spot in the rankings with an average price of 166.5¢ and 166.8¢ respectively.

But Costco’s pumps are only available to West Australians who shell out for a $65 membership.

The cheapest non-member petrol station was Vibe Kwinana, which registered an average annual price of 169.5¢, followed by Atlas Fuel Kwinana (169.7¢) and Atlas Fuel Ascot (169.9¢).

Atlas Fuel claimed five of the top 11 spots — which all averaged 171.5¢ or below — followed by Vibe with three, Costco with two and Liberty and FastFuel 24/7 with one each.

Perth’s overall average petrol price for 2023 was 183.9¢ — breaking the record set in 2022 of 180.1¢.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 sparked a massive spike in global oil prices, sending petrol across Australia rocketing well beyond $2 a litre.

If it had not been for a six-month excise reprieve enacted by the Morrison government that dropped prices by 22.1¢ a litre, 2022 would have been by far the most expensive year on record for petrol in Perth.

While petrol prices remained at historic highs throughout 2023, the silver lining for motorists was that Perth was the cheapest capital city in Australia for fuel.

Commerce Minister Sue Ellery said the rankings illustrated independent retailers had “led the way on lower prices for fuel”.

She said the results also highlighted that motorists who used the FuelWatch website and were willing to shop around could save themselves hundreds of dollars.

“On FuelWatch’s estimate on a 60-litre fill up of your car, on last year’s figures you could have saved around $1200,” Ms Ellery said.

“That makes a real difference in every family’s household budget.”

The major chains that dominate Perth’s petrol market — Coles, Shell, BP, Ampol, Caltex, United and Puma — all failed to crack the FuelWatch rankings.

Ms Ellery said 2023 had also brought a return to a predictable weekly price cycle in Perth, with Tuesday traditionally cheapest, following by a big spike on Wednesday.

It followed a period of fortnightly pricing during the COVID pandemic.

Asked whether she believed the major petrol retailers were engaging in non-competitive behaviour by aligning themselves to the same price cycle, Ms Ellery said it was a “constant point of conversation”.

“What happened in 2023 is that one of the major supermarkets changed to a weekly cycle and pretty soon after everybody else did as well,” she said.

“It’s the majors that will push the prices up and then other majors will follow.

“FuelWatch has got 20 years’ worth of data that will show that one will lead and the others will follow quite quickly.

“What these rankings show, though, is that shopping around gets you the best price on fuel and it can make a real difference.”

Extracted in full from: https://thewest.com.au/news/perth/independent-retailers-top-the-list-for-perths-cheapest-petrol-stations-in-2023-a-record-year-for-fuel-prices-c-13195294

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