If you’ve had to fill your car up in the last few weeks, you’d have noticed the price of petrol is through the god-damned roof. We’re paying around $2 a litre and that is just for the standard unleaded fuel – none of this fancy premium stuff.
Worries about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine have sparked fears about market access to Russia’s massive oil production, sending global crude oil prices to seven-year highs.
As the ABC reports, while crude oil is still a long way off previous record prices, the Australian dollar is much weaker than it was the last time oil was this expensive.
Driving from petrol station to petrol station in search of a better price is a massive waste of time (and you’ll likely burn the fuel in your tank that’s valued at the price you’d save by going elsewhere, anyway).
Thankfully there’s an easier way to find cheap petrol.
NSW government’s Fuel Check
Those of you living in New South Wales have an easy way to find cheap petrol – thanks to the state government, actually.
In August 2016, the NSW government launched Fuel Check, a smartphone app that provides real-time updates on petrol prices across the state. You can also access Fuel Check via a web browser.
Fuel Check relies on petrol stations in the state sending their pricing schedule directly through to the government, and comes with parliamentary backing to ensure the information is sent through in real-time.
The site/app is self-explanatory – you enter your location, then select the type of petrol you’re after. You can even use it to search for electric vehicle charging stations. It gives you a live figure on the average price of petrol, too.
One you hit enter on your search, you’ll be provided a list of where the cheap petrol is at. Simples. (My screenshot for this is pretty dire – $1.87 per litre for E10 is the cheapest in my area).
If you think FuelCheck Tas looks like a rebrand of NSW’s Fuel Check app, you’d be correct.
It behaves in exactly the same way – you enter your location, then select the type of petrol you’re after and you’ll be presented with a ascending list of cheap to not-so cheap fuel in your area. There’s of course an app, too.
Another cousin of the NSW Fuel Check app is MyFuelNT.
Same deal as in Tassie and New South Wales, enter your location and watch the magic.
RACQ’s fuel checker for Queenslanders
In Queensland, the RACQ has its own version of Fuel Check: RACQ Fair Fuel Finder app.
Just like with the NSW app, the RACQ’s one can be used on a web browser. It’s not as pretty, but it does the job.
RACV for Victorians
For those of you south of the NSW border, the RACV has its own interactive map that keeps track of local petrol, diesel and other fuel prices in Melbourne and the rest of Victoria. The RACV’s fuel checker is browser-based.
WA government’s FuelWatch
The government of Western Australia also has a browser-based way to check for cheap petrol in your area. Just like with the others, the WA fuel check site is self-explanatory – you enter your location and then a map populates of the best prices in your area.
From 20 March 2021 petrol price information was made available in real time in South Australia. Instead of developing its own app for this scheme, the state government mandated that all SA fuel retailers report their prices to a central database as close in time as possible to the price changing at the pump. Motorists can then access fuel price information for free via one of the existing fuel price apps, such as Fuel Price Australia, which does cover Australia-wide petrol pricing trends.
There are also a tonne of third-party apps that simply blend some APIs together and display them on a Google map (that’s what folks in the ACT have to use), this list is just the government-owned, or government-approved, fuel check apps.
Happy cheap petrol-hunting, folks.
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