26 August 2019

Petrol stations banned from advertising 'misleading' discounted fuel prices

| Lachlan Roberts
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Petrol price board

Petrol price board showing the discounted unleaded petrol price in November last year. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Petrol stations across the ACT have been banned from advertising discounted prices on their price boards under new laws to protect motorists from being misled at the pump.

Starting from Monday (26 August), petrol stations are no longer allowed to advertise discounted prices on their price boards, including prices that require a discount voucher or an in-store purchase. Schemes, such as save four cents off per litre, can still be advertised but the price displayed must be the full price available to all motorists.

The recent amendments to the Fair Trading (Fuel Prices) Act 1993, which were introduced to the Legislative Assembly last November, means stations could face penalties of up to $16,200 if they do not comply with the new laws.

ACT Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said the laws will ensure motorists will pay the fuel price they see when filling up.

“These changes will ensure Canberrans aren’t lured into service stations by discounted prices that require a shopper docket, in-store purchase or membership of a loyalty rewards program,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Save four cents off per litre schemes can still be advertised, but the price displayed must be the full price available to all motorists. Photo: Lachlan Roberts.

“Service station retailers will need to ensure that from today their fuel price boards are kept up-to-date so that they never display a price less than the price at the pump.”

To ensure stations adhere to the new fuel price board requirements and increase consumer confidence, Access Canberra will undertake proactive checks at service stations across the ACT.

If Canberrans notice any discrepancies between an advertised price on a fuel board and the price at the pump, they can report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Mr Rattenbury also encouraged Canberrans to research petrol prices with online tools such as Motor Mouth and Petrol Spy before filling up.

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Why not just make it law that the advertised price is the most anyone has to pay?

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