A new RACV study reveals the cheapest places to buy petrol in Victoria.
As more Victorians return to the roads and petrol prices rebound to pre-pandemic highs, new RACV research reveals that motorists can save as much as $300 a year by shopping around for the cheapest fuel.
The research, which analyses daily petrol prices in 748 metropolitan and regional suburbs and towns for the year to 1 April, also debunks the myth that fuel is always more expensive in regional areas.
The cheapest place to buy fuel in Victoria, according to the study, was Hamilton, about four hours’ drive from Melbourne, where the average price of unleaded 91 petrol over the year was 109.64 cents a litre, about eight cents a litre cheaper than the lowest price in the city.
Ballarat’s average price was more than four cents a litre below the cheapest city price.
Melbourne’s cheapest petrol price of 117.98 cents per litre could be found in the city’s southeast, in the 3911 postcode, which includes the suburbs of Baxter and Langwarrin South.
The most expensive place to fill up in the state was on Melbourne’s eastern fringe in the 3777 postcode, which includes Healesville, Badger Creek and Toolangi, where motorists paid an average of 137.35 cents per litre for unleaded fuel.
RACV’s senior engineer – vehicles, Nicholas Platt, says the 20 cents per litre price difference between Melbourne’s cheapest and most expensive suburbs highlights that motorists can save hundreds of dollars a year by shopping around for the lowest prices.
“If you consider the price difference based on an average family car using 1500 litres to travel 15,000 kilometres over a year, that 20 cents per litre difference adds up to $300,” he says.
He says the RACV fuel price study reveals that motorists can make significant savings simply by travelling to a neighbouring suburb to fill up. For example, the average fuel price in Mitcham (118.42 cents) was almost 15 cents per litre cheaper than in nearby Ringwood (133.52 cents).
He says fuel prices are driven by local competition in particular areas. “The more petrol stations and the more competitive they are, the cheaper the fuel,” he says. “It doesn’t have anything to do with how affluent a postcode is.”
While Healesville and surrounds (postcode 3777) topped the list as the state’s most expensive place to fill up, it was followed by postcode 3088 covering Briar Hill, Greensborough and St Helena, postcode 3135 covering Ringwood, Warrandyte South and Warranwood, and postcode 3337 covering Melton and surrounds.
After postcode 3911 (Baxter and Langwarrin South), the next cheapest places to fill up in Melbourne were postcode 3177, which includes Doveton and Eumemmerring, postcode 3132 covering Mitcham, and 3074 – Thomastown.