New ACCC website feature helps drivers save money at the bowser

A new feature on the ACCC website will tell drivers when petrol is at its cheapest across the five largest capital cities.

The interactive map will track petrol price cycles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, advising drivers when the price is at the low end of the cycle, so they can purchase at the lowest price possible.

A chart with daily average prices over the last 45 days, the duration and shape of the past five price cycles; and new buying tips to help consumers understand the position of the current price cycle will be included for each city.

For example, the current recommendation for Sydney is: ‘Prices are decreasing but they are likely to decrease further. If possible, motorists should delay buying petrol until later.’

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that the additional information is not a guarantee, but it should assist Australians with choosing when to fill up.

“With the information provided on the ACCC website, motorists in the five largest cities will be in a better position to plan petrol purchases and save money at the bowser,” he said.

“The savings that motorists can make by buying wisely are not insignificant and we hope our new buying tips service can significantly facilitate this.”

The feature will not be available for Darwin, Hobart, Canberra and regional centres, as these cities tend not to follow the same petrol pricing cycles as larger cities.

The new feature comes after the release of the ACCC’s seventh annual report into petrol prices, which found Australians paid the third-highest petrol prices on record during the 2013-4 financial year: an average of 150.6 cents/litre.

However, Sims said motorists should expect relief, as the international price of petrol has dropped roughly 20 cents/litre since July 2014.

“As the international price is such a large component of the retail price, this should be a welcome relief for motorists,” he said.

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