With higher international fuel prices causing petrol and diesel pump prices in Australia to increase 34% and 51% respectively in the June 22 quarter compared to the same period last year, it is little wonder that motorists are scrambling to look for ways to save money at the bowser.
This has been exacerbated by sharp price increases for other household items such as food and housing.
This state of affairs has seen motorists changing their routines in order to cut down on fuel expenditure. Some methods here include:
Reducing travel – more motorists are avoiding discretionary travel. Total Australian petrol volumes in the March 22 quarter were down 5% compared to the December 22 quarter;
Shopping around for the best deal – The Informed Sources operated MotorMouth app has seen a sharp increase in visits over the last four months;
Substituting to lesser fuel grades – where possible, motorists are switching to lesser fuel grades. Whereas sales of Premium Unleaded 98 volumes in Australia declined in the March quarter of 2022, Premium Unleaded 95 volumes increased slightly;
Seeking alternative energy to power mobility – despite some suggesting it may take petrol prices to rise to $3.85 per litre before consumers could recover the extra cost of an EV within five years, EV sales in Australia have increased 116% in the last twelve months, albeit from a relatively small base. Hybrid vehicle sales have also surged by more than 100% in the first half of 2022, over the same period last year.
All of the above means that fuel retailers are having to fight harder than ever before to win volume. The data supports this, with gross retail margins in Australia’s 5 largest cities contracting 0.3cpl in the March 22 quarter.
To remain competitive, fuel retailers need access to accurate, reliable and timely petrol pricing data that allows for the consistent execution of pricing strategies.