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Fuel Prices in Canberra vs Sydney

By 6 December 2012 27

I know this topic has probably been done…..but just want to add some facts that keep running around in my head. I have made several visits over the last year, and again last weekend. Each time there has been a major petrol price difference and this was no different on the last trip.

Western Sydney $1.291/l
North Canberra $1.496/l

These prices are same day 3 hours apart

Now I appreciate the costs of transporting fuel can increase the costs, won’t begrudge them that……however if someone can help me understand further the costs, otherwise I believe we are being ripped off.

My calculations are

Tanker Truck Capability : 40000 litres
Price Difference between Sydney/Canberra : $0.20 (rounded)
Profit Made (Selling a Tanker of fuel in Canberra instead of Sydney) : $8000

Tanker Costs
Approximate Wages for Driver : $1200 ($600 + overnight allowance + insurance)
Fuel Costs for Return Trip to Sydney :  $800

The costs work out to be $2000, but for safety, lets say $3000 to cover the transport. This is still $5000 made which appears to be gouging.

This would potentially mean that we should be paying $1.38/l or less. Remember I am being generous on the Tanker costs, I believe the fuel costs for the return trip a over the top as well (I am sure that they get a discount as well). And I haven’t even considered that driving the trucks from Botany/Kurnell to Western Sydney has a cost as well which on Sydney traffic is not negligible (which is incorporated in the Sydney price. I understand that there are large tankers that can be used, making the profit even more.

All the petrol stations in Canberra seem to have high prices, even the independents. I can’t use any words, but to me, “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”. Read in to it what you will.

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27 Responses to
Fuel Prices in Canberra vs Sydney
Holden Caulfield 11:30 am
06 Dec 12
#1

And yet the last time I drove to Sydney the price for 91 RON ULP in Canberra when I left was 148.9/l and when I got to Sydney a few hours later the price there was 157.9/l.

cross 11:35 am
06 Dec 12
#2

Unfortunately it’s not about fairness it’s about making money and what the market will pay in a given competition environment. If it was decided by corporate giants that the price in Canberra is going to be $3.00 a litre there would be nothing ,including the government could do about it.

NoImRight 12:09 pm
06 Dec 12
#3

cross said :

Unfortunately it’s not about fairness it’s about making money and what the market will pay in a given competition environment. If it was decided by corporate giants that the price in Canberra is going to be $3.00 a litre there would be nothing ,including the government could do about it.

Exactly. Its our jolly capitalist system at work. Everyone is against Govt interference unless it gets them something and only costs someone else.

aidan 12:39 pm
06 Dec 12
#4

Competition. Those weird no-name petrol stations force the price down. I was in Wollongong a couple of weekends back. Same deal, 20c cheaper. Only had to drive 20mins south before the price was higher than in Canberra.

People complain about the Supermarket duopoly because it forces (some) prices artificially low, e.g. milk. An oligopoly in petrol leads to higher prices.

Go figure.

They also charge WAY over the odds for 98 (only 2-4c more expensive wholesale) to subsidise their “headline” price for e10/91.

Show the bastards you mean business, drive less.

liability 12:59 pm
06 Dec 12
#5

You don’t have to travel to Sydney. I travel to Goulburn regularly and the fuel is always cheaper there than Canberra by about 10c a litre.

khepri 2:20 pm
06 Dec 12
#6

I’m in Brisbane this week and the petrol just went from $1.28 to $1.43 overnight. (discounted prices)

eyeLikeCarrots 2:33 pm
06 Dec 12
#7

“…..but just want to add some facts that keep running around in my head”

Should read:

“……wanted to talk about some numbers that I made up as fair estimates but really I haven’t got any solid information so my ‘facts’ could actually be total and utter drivel”.

Rollersk8r 2:49 pm
06 Dec 12
#8

Yes – I also witnessed a 20c difference between Sydney and Canberra a few weeks ago – and thought to myself it’s the biggest I’ve seen. But what are you going to do??

rosscoact 4:29 pm
06 Dec 12
#9

I recently drove six hours to the north west of NSW and back again in the same day. Fueled up in Gilgandra on the way back.

The most expensive fuel I saw was at Gungahlin, even Geurie was cheaper

jayskette 4:54 pm
06 Dec 12
#10

Which fuel are you comparing by the way. Don’t forget NSW do not have 91 Unleaded, they only have E10.

KB1971 5:45 pm
06 Dec 12
#11

screaming banshee 6:13 pm
06 Dec 12
#12

jayskette said :

Which fuel are you comparing by the way. Don’t forget NSW do not have 91 Unleaded, they only have E10.

Incorrect

dpm 7:45 pm
06 Dec 12
#13

KB1971 said :

You are forgetting a prime mover costs about 300k, a tanker trailer about 100k and between 5 to10k a year for registration for both units.

Then there are tyres and other maintinence for the year.

http://www.trucksales.com.au/buy/details.aspx?R=13185672&__Qpb=1&Cr=2&__Ns=p_StockRankSort_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_Make_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Model_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Year_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_StockPrice_Decimal%7c1&__N=1550%201552%201715%201600%204294958828%204294957853&silo=1701&seot=1&__Nne=15&trecs=9&__sid=13B714E2D385

http://www.trucksales.com.au/buy/results.aspx?N=1550+1552+1715+1600+4294957922+4294955708&No=0&Nne=15

Yes, but I reckon most stations in Syd (let alone Goulburn) would also be filled by the same truck/trailer combo, wouldn’t they? While petol and servicing etc would be different, adding the cost of the truck/rego etc is basically cancelled out when comparing both sides?

Sandman 8:10 pm
06 Dec 12
#14

dpm said :

KB1971 said :

You are forgetting a prime mover costs about 300k, a tanker trailer about 100k and between 5 to10k a year for registration for both units.

Then there are tyres and other maintinence for the year.

http://www.trucksales.com.au/buy/details.aspx?R=13185672&__Qpb=1&Cr=2&__Ns=p_StockRankSort_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_Make_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Model_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Year_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_StockPrice_Decimal%7c1&__N=1550%201552%201715%201600%204294958828%204294957853&silo=1701&seot=1&__Nne=15&trecs=9&__sid=13B714E2D385

http://www.trucksales.com.au/buy/results.aspx?N=1550+1552+1715+1600+4294957922+4294955708&No=0&Nne=15

Yes, but I reckon most stations in Syd (let alone Goulburn) would also be filled by the same truck/trailer combo, wouldn’t they? While petol and servicing etc would be different, adding the cost of the truck/rego etc is basically cancelled out when comparing both sides?

Calculations were based on the entire tanker load being delivered to Canberra though. The shipping company also has other overheads apart from the truck and I don’t think the calculations by the op of the truck operating costs were generous at all. $8000 for a truckload of fuel doesn’t seem too far fetched by the time all costs and a bit of profit for the shipping company are taken into account. It’s not the salvation army hauling the fuel. If you have millions of dollars tied up in trucks you would want to see a decent return on your investment.

troll-sniffer 8:13 pm
06 Dec 12
#15

Maaaate… do what i do. Every week I drive up there and like fill up my tank and some jerry cans and I stil got half a tank left when i get back and I fill it up from the jerry cans during the week. It saves me heaps mate in my V8 Berlina, like I use over 200 litres per week and when I save 20c per litre that’s like $40.00 I saved just by going to Sydney mate.

LSWCHP 8:38 pm
06 Dec 12
#16

troll-sniffer said :

Maaaate… do what i do. Every week I drive up there and like fill up my tank and some jerry cans and I stil got half a tank left when i get back and I fill it up from the jerry cans during the week. It saves me heaps mate in my V8 Berlina, like I use over 200 litres per week and when I save 20c per litre that’s like $40.00 I saved just by going to Sydney mate.

Maate….I’ve got some incredibly negatively geared investment properties you’d be interested in as well. You can actually make heaps of money mate by saving lots of tax by buying things that are decreasing in value mate. Your trips to the properties are tax deductible and you actually make heaps of money by losing money. Sounds weird and I can’t explain it either but it’s troo! Stickin’ it to The Man, yeah…

KB1971 9:50 pm
06 Dec 12
#17

dpm said :

KB1971 said :

You are forgetting a prime mover costs about 300k, a tanker trailer about 100k and between 5 to10k a year for registration for both units.

Then there are tyres and other maintinence for the year.

http://www.trucksales.com.au/buy/details.aspx?R=13185672&__Qpb=1&Cr=2&__Ns=p_StockRankSort_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_Make_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Model_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Year_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_StockPrice_Decimal%7c1&__N=1550%201552%201715%201600%204294958828%204294957853&silo=1701&seot=1&__Nne=15&trecs=9&__sid=13B714E2D385

http://www.trucksales.com.au/buy/results.aspx?N=1550+1552+1715+1600+4294957922+4294955708&No=0&Nne=15

Yes, but I reckon most stations in Syd (let alone Goulburn) would also be filled by the same truck/trailer combo, wouldn’t they? While petol and servicing etc would be different, adding the cost of the truck/rego etc is basically cancelled out when comparing both sides?

Nup, when I used to work for Shell and they had a local distributor we used to empty one truck in one delivery of ULP at Tuggeranong. The diesel tank was smaller so was gas because of the demand. We used to get 2-3 deliveries a week.

milkman 7:02 am
07 Dec 12
#18

The price is what it is. Choose your car and budget accordingly.

dpm 7:16 am
07 Dec 12
#19

KB1971 said :

dpm said :

…Yes, but I reckon most stations in Syd (let alone Goulburn) would also be filled by the same truck/trailer combo, wouldn’t they? While petol and servicing etc would be different, adding the cost of the truck/rego etc is basically cancelled out when comparing both sides?

Nup, when I used to work for Shell and they had a local distributor we used to empty one truck in one delivery of ULP at Tuggeranong. The diesel tank was smaller so was gas because of the demand. We used to get 2-3 deliveries a week.

What i’m trying to say is: don’t Syd petrol stations also get filled by semis (the same as Canberra stations)? If so, they both (Cbr and Syd petrol prices) would have the cost of the truck/rego etc ‘included’ in their overall price – and it would just be the extra petrol consumption driving to Canberra (and servcing/tyres) that would be added to Cbr prices (i.e transport costs)?

Pitchka 8:00 am
07 Dec 12
#20

milkman said :

The price is what it is. Choose your car and budget accordingly.

Just because someone drives a 1.6L four banger doesnt mean they can afford to pay 1.69/litre.

Choose your budget?

KB1971 8:26 am
07 Dec 12
#21

dpm said :

KB1971 said :

dpm said :

…Yes, but I reckon most stations in Syd (let alone Goulburn) would also be filled by the same truck/trailer combo, wouldn’t they? While petol and servicing etc would be different, adding the cost of the truck/rego etc is basically cancelled out when comparing both sides?

Nup, when I used to work for Shell and they had a local distributor we used to empty one truck in one delivery of ULP at Tuggeranong. The diesel tank was smaller so was gas because of the demand. We used to get 2-3 deliveries a week.

What i’m trying to say is: don’t Syd petrol stations also get filled by semis (the same as Canberra stations)? If so, they both (Cbr and Syd petrol prices) would have the cost of the truck/rego etc ‘included’ in their overall price – and it would just be the extra petrol consumption driving to Canberra (and servcing/tyres) that would be added to Cbr prices (i.e transport costs)?

Ahh, yes true. I do believe they are running B-doubles in into Canberra since they stopped the trains so there would be extra cost there.

Then there is the issues of gross sales, every petrol station in Sydney would gross more then any service station in Canberra so the more they sell, the cheaper it is theoretically.

Having said that, I have seen petrol at the same price on the Sapphire coast as in Canberra. When it comes down to it, we live in a capitalist society & fuel is a good & the manufacturer of that good can charge what they like for it.

cross 12:15 pm
07 Dec 12
#22

cross said :

Unfortunately it’s not about fairness it’s about making money and what the market will pay in a given competition environment. If it was decided by corporate giants that the price in Canberra is going to be $3.00 a litre there would be nothing ,including the government could do about it.

Having said this I still think it’s worth having a moan about it in public just to let them them know we think they are arseholes. “We are the 99% “

youami 1:26 pm
07 Dec 12
#23

Pitchka said :

milkman said :

The price is what it is. Choose your car and budget accordingly.

Just because someone drives a 1.6L four banger doesnt mean they can afford to pay 1.69/litre.

Choose your budget?

Sorry but milkman is right. Driving a vehicle is a privilege not a right. If you can’t afford to pay for fuel then take a bus or ride a bike, in other words you choose your budget. Australian fuel prices are some of the lowest in the OECD. And fuel companies are like banks, they are commercial profit-making enterprises and charge what they want. Sorry but they are the hard facts of life. Unless you work in the public service or for some NGO you would also appreciate that the business you work for is for profit and profit alone.

Holden Caulfield 1:51 pm
07 Dec 12
#24

Pitchka said :

milkman said :

The price is what it is. Choose your car and budget accordingly.

Just because someone drives a 1.6L four banger doesnt mean they can afford to pay 1.69/litre.

Choose your budget?

Sounds like walking might be am option here.

Otherwise, seek a definition for “reality”.

JimCharles 5:54 pm
07 Dec 12
#25

Rollersk8r said :

Yes – I also witnessed a 20c difference between Sydney and Canberra a few weeks ago – and thought to myself it’s the biggest I’ve seen. But what are you going to do??

127.9 this morning in Leura, 154.9 back here this afternoon.

Jivrashia 12:54 am
08 Dec 12
#26

Western Sydney $1.291/l
North Canberra $1.496/l

Western Sydney vs North Canberra.
= Havenots vs Haves

Now there’s your problem. If you’re not convinced, try the Big Mac price test.

Gungahlin_Bob 7:02 am
08 Dec 12
#27

OK, I have had a good read of the replies.

I have confirmed that my “facts” were not too far off the mark. For those that are interested….
http://www.freightmetrics.com.au/CalculatorsRoad/TruckOperatingCost/tabid/104/Default.aspx
Plug the correct information into here and it covers all the costs…..

So if we work on a Single Tanker carting 38000 litres, travelling a distance of 650Km (return trip)….and working on an operating margin of 15% (that’s the truck)…drivers wages and worker insurance, maintenance and just about everything else included in that figure before the operating margin….We come to a figure of $1911.76 per day…….(and we are not being petty worrying about less fuel being used on trip back due to less load)…lets add a few hundred for overnight allowance in case he left Sydney late……as I said my “facts” are not far off…..

As someone said, its capitalism at work, and you have to respect that, but there is a difference between making a profit and gouging. Canberra seems to be a captive market e.g. we cant go 50km up the road and get it at a lower price. We need to go 100Km up the road (e.g. Goulburn) which almost makes it not worth it. Its almost as though the price is artificially set at a price that makes any gain you might get from going up the road.

As for the few posts about NSW prices being a the same or more expensive. I agree you will come across that with the differences in “up & down” prices especially in NSW, but when I refer to 20c difference I am talking about averages.

Your thoughts??

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