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Coles Express charged the most at the bowser in 2018, ACCC report finds

Lachlan Roberts 18 October 2019 19
Petrol pumps

If Canberrans filled up their car at United instead of Coles Express, they could have saved themselves $185 in 2018. Photo: File.

A new Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report says that Coles Express was charging Canberrans the most at the pump last year. They found the average fuel price over the year at Coles Express service stations was 2.2 cents per litre above the average.

The ACCC analysed average retail petrol prices throughout 2018 and compared the prices of high and low-priced major petrol retailers in Australia’s capital cities.

The data showed that independent chains were the lowest priced retailers in all eight capitals, while Coles Express was the highest priced retailer in almost all cities, including Canberra. Coles Express also had the highest monthly average price every month in Sydney and Canberra.

Calculating the annual average retail petrol price for Caltex, Coles Express, United, Woolworths and 7-Eleven service stations in Canberra, the report found a range of 7.1 cents per litre between the lowest and the highest priced retailers.

Woolworths, 7-Eleven and Caltex were well below the market average price, with United the lowest at 4.9 cents per litre below the market average price (153.4 cents per litre).

Fuel price analysis

Coles Express was the most expensive fuel retailer according to the ACCC in 2018.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said if a Canberra motorist had filled up their car at United service stations instead of Coles Express, they could have saved themselves on average 7.1 cents per litre each time they filled up, or $185 in 2018.

Mr Sims said motorists could save hundreds of dollars a year, simply by choosing to fill up at low-priced independent service stations.

“Motorists that always filled up at these independent chains would have come out ahead when it comes to petrol,” Mr Sims said. “The data reveals that independent chains were the lowest priced retailers in all eight cities, while Coles Express was the highest priced retailer in almost all cities.”

The data also showed that Coles Express had the highest monthly average price every month and was above the market average price every month. On the other hand, United was the lowest in 10 months and was below the market average price every month.

Mr Sims said the ACCC’s report dispelled the myth held by some consumers that all petrol prices are the same. He encouraged motorists to check fuel prices apps and websites to find the best bargains.

“While some motorists decide where to fill up based on reasons other than price such as convenience and related offers, for many consumers price is the biggest influence on where they buy petrol,” he said.

“Motorists who want to save money on petrol should use fuel price apps and websites. Consumers do not only benefit from the lower prices they find using these apps, but they also help reward retailers who actively compete on price.”

ACCC price comparison data

ACCC analysis of the range between the highest priced and lowest prices major petrol retailers in eight capital cities in 2018.

Read the ACCC report here


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19 Responses to Coles Express charged the most at the bowser in 2018, ACCC report finds
Darron Marks Darron Marks 3:15 am 20 Oct 19

Costco fuel isn't just cheaper it has better quality fuel plus additives that I swear make your engine run better.

    Ken Wi Ken Wi 8:12 am 20 Oct 19

    The Costco website says it currently sources its fuel from Mobil. BP is generally considered to be the best fuel by motoring enthusiasts.

Geoff Richardson Geoff Richardson 12:06 am 20 Oct 19

Their fuel is expensive and very poor quality IMO!

Mat Barber Mat Barber 2:16 pm 19 Oct 19

That's why I haven't fuelled up at coles all year

Paul Stephens Paul Stephens 12:50 pm 19 Oct 19

Also they don’t offer their fuel voucher discount with purchase of groceries if you need to buy diesel 🤷🏼‍♂️

Brad Miller Brad Miller 12:45 pm 19 Oct 19

I have not purchased Shell for 30 years

Julie Mylchreest Julie Mylchreest 12:21 pm 19 Oct 19

They don't just charge the most, if you drive a European car you're lucky to find a +95 Bowser operating. I avoid them

Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 12:00 pm 19 Oct 19

This article is like saying the sun rises in the east.

The reason why Coles has been more expensive is very well documented in the newspapers. But the new deal that Coles has with Viva energy who supplies the fuel should mean that the price should now better match the other brands around.

    Adrian Gab Adrian Gab 8:47 pm 20 Oct 19

    Ashley Wright it hasn't. They are always the most expensive.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:31 pm 20 Oct 19

    Adrian Gab a quick look at petrol spy says otherwise. Shell/Coles price (for 91 or E10 for example) in Canberra is now on par with everyone else, wheras before it was across the board more expensive by 2-5c

Rhys Alexander Hepplewhite Rhys Alexander Hepplewhite 11:23 am 19 Oct 19

Good thing I got ma 5% discount coz I work at coles

Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 10:49 am 19 Oct 19

I always go to Costco heaps cheaper

Carl Soggs Carl Soggs 10:34 am 19 Oct 19

That's why I don't do Coles or Woolies. You're much better off with Aldi + cheapest servo around. Loyalty to just one network of retailers actually doesn't save you anything. They manage to recoup what you think you saved with something else more expensive.

Paul Jilbert Paul Jilbert 10:09 am 19 Oct 19

Shell fuel is quite good 🤔

    Mitchell Whyte Mitchell Whyte 10:40 am 19 Oct 19

    Paul Jilbert caltex deisel is better

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:54 am 19 Oct 19

    Paul Jilbert you know the fuel in NSW and ACT now all comes from the same refineries in Singapore and Malaysia? The only difference between the brands is the additives the put in as it is loaded into the truck.

    Paul Jilbert Paul Jilbert 2:05 pm 19 Oct 19

    Ashley Wright yeah i figured that, but i have had positive experiences with Vpower 😎

    Paul Jilbert Paul Jilbert 2:05 pm 19 Oct 19

    Mitchell Whyte unless you dont own a deisel 🤷🏻‍♂️

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