Canberra motorists have been treated to a drastic reduction in the price of fuel since the opening of Costco’s petrol station in early December.
On a trip to the Majura Park precinct just before Christmas, I was surprised to see unleaded fuel down to $1.17 a litre at both the Costco and the nearby Woolworths petrol station. I don’t remember the last time I saw petrol that cheap.
This was surprisingly even lower than the price of $1.29 I saw in the Canberra Times on the day the Costco petrol station opened. I didn’t really need to fill up but the offer was too good to drive past seeing as I was there. I don’t have a Costco membership (I simply don’t have room to store bulk quantities in my house so don’t see a need to shop there) so I instead took advantage of Woolworths’ lower prices.
Both outlets had a steady stream of traffic coming through with queues at least three cars deep at each bowser when I was there.
Saving more than 30 cents a litre on usual prices (I usually pay around $1.50 a litre) is a particularly good saving and certainly adds up. But I have to wonder if Woolworths can adjust their prices that dramatically – the mark up on fuel must be substantial.
At the opening of the Costco service station, the NRMA was reported as saying said this was the lowest petrol had been in Canberra in five years. It will be interesting to see if Costco can maintain the low prices in the long term – and if Woolworths will continue to be just as competitive to get the motorist dollar.
Also, as Sydney petrol prices started to fall dramatically recently – with prices touted to go possibly as low as a dollar – it will be interesting to see if the price drop will make it south to Canberra and if the Majura Park outlets will continue to offer substantial savings compared to other outlets.
I’m curious if this has been successful in getting new customers for Costco – or if Woolworths customers (who don’t need a membership but just a free rewards card to get the lowest price) are the real winners.
I’ve become accustomed to paying around the usual $1.40-$1.50 a litre and haven’t previously shopped around. Even using the Woolworths or Coles vouchers only saves you a dollar or two and it doesn’t seem worth it to drive especially to use my voucher. If a Woolworths or Coles service station is located where I’m driving and I need to fill up, then I fill up.
The Majura Park precinct is about a 10 minute drive from my house and I go there every now and then to do grocery shipping. It’s not my closest supermarket but I like it because it’s quieter than Dickson and easier to get a park. Certainly if the price continues to be substantially cheaper than the outlets I usually frequent, I would consider especially making the drive out if I was sitting near empty and getting groceries at the same time.
At least in the short term, the introduction of the Costco petrol station sounds like it is a win for Canberra motorists who frequent the Majura Park precinct, and will likely attract more customers to the centre.
No doubt the highly anticipated opening of Ikea – opening late 2015 according to their website – will also attract more Canberrans to Majura Park.
Do you shop around to get the best fuel price?