A peak automotive group is urging motorists to shop around or fill up the tank only if desperate, as fuel prices climb to near-record highs.
A peak automotive group is urging motorists to shop around or fill up the tank only if desperate, as fuel prices climb to near-record highs.

‘Near record’: Fuel prices surge to a new high

THE average price of unleaded fuel in Brisbane has jumped by 29c in a week, with Queensland's peak automotive group urging motorists to shop around to avoid being ripped off.

Data from the RACQ shows the average price of unleaded fuel in Brisbane jumped to an average of $1.61 a litre.

The petrol price jump is despite service stations only paying wholesale prices of $1.37 a litre, or 4.8c more than last week, according to CommSec.

Nearly a quarter of service stations in Brisbane were whacking drivers with prices over $1.74, meaning they were making margins of 37c a litre.

Every service station on Brisbane's northside had increased prices to between $1.70 and $1.74 a litre.

"You really can save by taking a few minutes to see if there is cheaper fuel down the road," RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said.

"Prices are incredibly high in Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast at the moment, and motorists should avoid the bowser if they can."

Motorists could expect to pay over $1.74 a litre in parts of southeast Queensland.
Motorists could expect to pay over $1.74 a litre in parts of southeast Queensland.

Ms Smith said the prices were near record highs and that motorists should top up their tanks, rather than filling them.

"If you need fuel now, buy the minimum amount to meet your immediate needs," she said.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said petrol stations would typically be charging motorists $1.50 a litre at current wholesale prices,

"The wholesale price, or terminal gate price, is currently $1.37," Mr Felsman said.

"Retailers will add on a margin of 12c a litre, which takes it to around $1.50 a litre."

He said retailers were aggressively raising prices nationally, including in Brisbane, following the end of the previous discounting cycle.

The cyclic nature of fuel prices meant however that motorists could see relief in the next couple of days.

Mr Felsman warned high fuel prices, combined with sluggish wages growth, would constrain consumer spending leading up to the crucial Christmas period.

"(Fuel) is one of the biggest purchases that Australian households will make," Mr Felsman said.

"What we have seen over the course of this year is the monthly spend, in terms of dollars per household … is averaging around $250 per month.

"It's quite a considerable amount of money."


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