High petrol prices hurting Kiwis

Last updated 09:50 15/06/2012
Fairfax Media
HITTING HOME: More than half of Kiwis are using the car only for essential trips as high petrol prices bite.

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Kiwis' quality of life is being hit by the high cost of fuel, a new survey shows.

Financial research and ratings agency Canstar Blue's monthly survey of 2,500 New Zealand consumers revealed nearly 70 per cent are being affected by high fuel prices.

More than half now say they only use their cars for essential trips, and over two-thirds use fuel discount vouchers to save money.

Ironically, the survey was released just after petrol prices were cut for the third time in just over a week - but they still remain historically high. Regular unleaded petrol is now around $2.059 a litre, the lowest level since last August. Retail prices have now fallen 14c in less than a month, from a recent high of $2.199.

The survey found the use of public transport is up, with 21 per cent of respondents now saying they're leaving their cars at home, and 38 per cent said they wait until the fuel light has been on in their vehicles for at least a day before filling up.

Nearly 60 per cent say they sacrifice convenience for price when buying fuel.

This was reflected in how respondents rated service stations.

Kiwi-owned brand Z Energy came out the highest with five stars in every category except price, where it was beaten by independent family-owned chain Gull.

The service stations were rated on overall satisfaction, price of petrol, service, range of other items, appearance and cleanliness, and facilities.

Z Energy was the only brand to get five stars for overall satisfaction, followed by Caltex, Challenge, Gull and Shell on four stars. Pak'nSave was the next after Gull with four stars for price, but got only three stars overall. BP and Mobil also only got an overall score of three stars.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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