Outlawing of misleading fuel price signs is a win for motorists, who often have only seconds to decide whether or not to pull into a servo.
Outlawing of misleading fuel price signs is a win for motorists, who often have only seconds to decide whether or not to pull into a servo.

Dodgy 'discount' fuel signs on servos are now illegal

MISLEADING prices on the display boards out the front of service stations will be outlawed in Queensland from Wednesday.

In July last year the State Government legislated to stop the common practice of fuel retailers displaying a discounted price only eligible to certain customers and hoodwinking motorists. Retailers have had until today to make the change.

In July last year the State Government legislated to stop the common practice of fuel retailers displaying a discounted price only eligible to certain customers and hoodwinking motorists. Picture: Steve Tanner
In July last year the State Government legislated to stop the common practice of fuel retailers displaying a discounted price only eligible to certain customers and hoodwinking motorists. Picture: Steve Tanner

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the organisation had been calling for transparent pricing boards for five years.

"Stage one of us trying to get fairer prices for motorists was to get rid of these misleading price boards," she said.

"We only have a few seconds to make decision when driving past a service station so by removing dodgy discounts and signs people will be able to make more informed decisions.

"It was something our members wanted to see outlawed and we are really pleased the State Government listened to those calls."

The change comes as RACQ's Annual Fuel Price report revealed the average price of diesel has jumped 10¢ in a year.

The average price in Brisbane for 2017 was $129.6¢/litre with an average retail margin of 14¢.

Retail margins on diesel in Brisbane were higher than in Adelaide, Sydney, Darwin and Melbourne.

Ms Ritchie said there was "no rhyme or reason" why diesel sales in Queensland weren't subject to a price cycle like unleaded fuel.

"Diesel may provide better fuel economy compared to unleaded but that may be offset by increased service costs, depreciation and capital costs of owning and running a diesel car," she said.

Outlawing of misleading fuel price signs is a win for motorists, who often have only seconds to decide whether or not to pull into a servo.
Outlawing of misleading fuel price signs is a win for motorists, who often have only seconds to decide whether or not to pull into a servo.

"There are also added concerns about air quality issues; the increase of small diesel cars has led to a drop in air quality in European cities."

Miles was the cheapest place in Queensland last year to buy diesel with an average price of $121.5¢/litre.

The Whitsundays was the most expensive at $136.7¢/litre.

Ms Ritchie said phase two of RACQ's fairer pricing plan was to see real-time fuel data introduced.

So far the Government has ignored those calls and instead handballed it to the Federal Government to deal with.

The introduction of real time-fuel data means app developers would be able to take the information and help motorists make an informed decision about where the best place to get their fuel on any given trip, Ms Ritchie said.

Queensland Consumers Association spokesman Ian Jarratt said it also supported the introduction of real-time fuel data.

The Opposition says if elected in 2020 it will introduce real-time fuel data legislation.



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