The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported new data that shows Australian’s have more choice than ever before when it comes to buying petrol.

Consumers are being encouraged to take advantage of the choice available by shopping around to maximise benefits and rewards on offer.

The ACCC’s second petrol industry report found there is greater diversity in the retail market compared to 15 years ago when it was dominated by big companies.

Of monitored petrol sales in 2002-2003, brands such as BP and Caltex took up 83% of the market, compared to a mere 38% in 2016-2017.

“Conversely, large independent retail chains (7-Eleven, United, Puma Energy and On The Run) more than quadrupled their market share over that time,” the ACCC said.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said: “The changing dynamic of Australia’s retail petrol market can be beneficial to consumers, as it gives them more choice about where they get their fuel”.

“New retailers entering the market, for example, can have a positive impact on competition as businesses fight for market share. This can help bring down prices, as we have recently seen in the Cairns petrol market. Where there are a limited number of retailers in a market, prices can be higher due to a lack of price competition,” Mr Sims said.

“For many consumers, price is the most important factor when determining where to buy petrol. More players in the market means more options of where to buy petrol. This is important as we found prices vary considerably between retailers,” Mr Sims said.

“For example, in our first industry report we found that in Sydney the difference between the highest priced and lowest priced retailer was 9.5 cents per litre in 2017. Price-sensitive consumers can therefore make significant savings over time by choosing to buy petrol at lower priced retailers.”

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