This surprising place has the cheapest fuel in Victoria

Moving Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 13 August 2019

Exclusive RACV figures reveal Victoria’s cheapest and most expensive suburbs for fuel.

Contrary to popular belief, the cheapest places to fill up your car in Victoria aren’t in metropolitan Melbourne but in regional centres like Ballarat and Benalla. 

New research by the RACV has investigated average petrol prices across Melbourne and regional Victoria in 2018-19, pinpointing some of the cheapest and most expensive suburbs and towns.

The research explodes the myth that country petrol prices are always dearer than in the city. 

Of the 27 regional towns surveyed, nine were cheaper than Melbourne’s average price of $1.413 cents per litre over the last financial year. 

Unleaded, premium unleaded and high-octane fuel pumps at service station.


In fact, over the past six months, regional Victoria overall was on average cheaper than metro Melbourne, with an average price of $1.396 compared to $1.405 in the city. 

The cheapest places to buy petrol in Victoria in the six months to 1 August were Ballarat, with an average price of $1.317 cents per litre for unleaded petrol, Benalla ($1.328) and Bendigo ($1.344).

In Melbourne, the cheapest petrol could be found in Maidstone ($1.379 cents per litre) just a few kilometres away from the most expensive suburb, Kingsville ($1.465). 

“It shows that just by living in a different suburb it can cost you more in fuel,” says RACV’s manager of vehicle engineering Michael Case. “At almost 10 cents a litre, that’s $5 on a tank of fuel for an average family car. It adds up.” 

The price difference, he says, can amount to an extra $150 a year, based on a car using 1500 litres a year to travel 15,000 kilometres.

After Maidstone, the next cheapest suburbs for petrol in Melbourne were McKinnon, Doveton and Wantirna, while the most expensive after Kingsville were Ringwood East, Gardenvale and Hampton. 

People assume country Victoria is always more expensive and that is not necessarily the case.


Michael says it is not an area’s perceived affluence that dictates petrol prices.

“In one word it’s competition; in two words it’s local competition,” he says. “In highly competitive local areas when one petrol retailer cuts their prices other locals competitors follow.”

He says a gradual rationalisation of petrol stations in some areas has resulted in softer competition and therefore higher prices. At the same time, some petrol retailers rely on sales in their onsite shops to boost profits and are prepared to cut margins on petrol to attract customers into the store. Others with high volumes at the pump could more easily discount petrol prices. 

RACV’s senior vehicles engineer Nicholas Platt advises Melbourne motorists to check fuel prices in regional centres before heading out of town, as there could be cheaper petrol along their route.  

“People assume country Victoria is always more expensive and that is not necessarily the case,” he says.

But don’t assume petrol is always cheaper in the country, either. The most expensive places to buy unleaded petrol in RACV’s 2018-2019 survey were Ararat ($1.509), Kyabram ($1.489) and Yarrawonga ($1.48).

Maidstone was also the cheapest place to buy premium unleaded petrol ($1.462) while Kingsville was the most expensive ($1.659). 

For diesel, Broadmeadows had the cheapest average price ($1.418) while Fawkner was the most expensive ($1.569).  

MORE:
Locate the cheapest petrol near you with RACV’s Fuel Price Monitor
Find out how much your car really costs to run with the RACV Carculator


Cheapest suburbs for fuel in Melbourne 


 

Unleaded

Unleaded

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Maidstone

137.9c

McKinnon

138.2c

Doveton

138.3c

Wantirna

138.5c

Braybrook

138.7c

Cranbourne West

138.7c

Cranbourne

139.0c

Premium

Premium

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Maidstone

146.2c

Derrimut

146.6c

Dandenong South

148.6c

Braeside

148.9c

Newport

149.7c

Doveton

150.1c

Wantirna

150.5c

Diesel

Diesel

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Broadmeadows

141.8c

Maidstone

142.7c

McKinnon

143.4c

Port Melbourne

143.8c

Cheltenham

145.4c

Laverton

146.2c

Ringwood

146.3c


Most expensive suburbs for fuel in Melbourne 


 

Unleaded

Unleaded

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Highett

145.1c

South Melbourne

145.1c

Greensborough

145.4c

Hampton

146.1c

Gardenvale

146.3c

Ringwood East

146.3c

Kingsville

146.5c

Premium

Premium

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Brunswick

162.9c

Carlton

162.9c

Scoresby

163.0c

Narre Warren North

163.1c

Richmond

164.6c

Gladstone Park

165.1c

Kingsville

165.9c

Diesel

Diesel

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Cheltenham North

155.2c

South Yarra

155.8c

Gardenvale

155.8c

Taylors Hill

156.0c

Greensborough

156.2c

Essendon

156.3c

Glenroy

156.7c


Cheapest towns for ULP in regional Victoria 


 

Unleaded

Unleaded

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Benalla

131.7c

Ballarat

137.5c

Traralgon

137.9c

Bendigo

138.8c

Wodonga

139.0c

Shepparton

139.4c

Moe

140.0c


Most expensive towns for ULP in regional Victoria 


 

Unleaded

Unleaded

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Mildura

146.0c

Echuca

146.8c

Cobram

146.9c

Horsham

147.2c

Yarrawonga

148.0c

Kyabram

148.9c

Ararat

150.9c


Annual ULP price averages in Victoria for 2018-19


 

Unleaded

Unleaded

Average fuel price (FY18-19)

Wholesale

129.2c

Melbourne

141.3c

Regional Victoria

142.7c