READER REPORT:

Petrol prices, it pays to shop around

MATTHEW KOFOED
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013
petrol stand
FAIRFAX NZ
GOING UP: Petrol prices are set to rise significantly during the next couple of years.

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In the last week, we've seen another round of petrol price hikes with BP, Mobil and Z Energy lifted petrol prices by as much as 4 cents and Caltex service stations increased by three cents a litre.

The national price, or the price you will find at most sites, is now $2.209, which is a far cry from the national price on January 28, when it was $2.099. Since then we have seen one price increase per week to bring us to our current price.

However, you don't have to pay this much, depending on where you live. MotorMouth* figures show that in Auckland there is a 19-cent difference between the highest and lowest prices. The cheapest prices are generally found in West or South Auckland, though there are also pockets of discounting sites in other areas of the city. It pays to shop around and take note of prices at the sites you regularly pass, as you could save almost $10 each time you fill up.

Smaller areas in the North Island can also benefit from what is known as the 'Gull effect'; where there is a Gull station in the area whose discount pricing mandate leads to other companies bringing their prices down. Examples of this can be found in Masterton and Levin, as well as other cities across the North Island.

Unfortunately for South Islanders, there is less variety in pricing. This may be due to the fact that there are no Gull stations in the whole of the mainland. Prices in remote areas are also much higher than the national price due to transportation costs.

In the short-term we may continue to see prices rise at the pump, with the price of crude oil continuing to head north.

*MotorMouth can be found at www.motormouth.co.nz, although their website is currently under development.


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