BLACK SPOT: Kathy Waterer at Rainbow Fuel, Caloundra, one of the independent fuel stations which often do not get a mention on price-monitoring services.
BLACK SPOT: Kathy Waterer at Rainbow Fuel, Caloundra, one of the independent fuel stations which often do not get a mention on price-monitoring services. Che Chapman

Monitors missing independent fuel bargains

MOTORMOUTH and other fuel monitors are missing some of the cheapest petrol prices on the Sunshine Coast.

Independent service stations are struggling to rate a mention on MotorMouth and the RACQ's Fuel Watch and consumers do not always see the best buys.

The Aussie World Garage at Palmview was selling unleaded at 102.9 cents a litre yesterday but MotorMouth said the price was 106.2 and the RACQ's Fuel Watch said the cheapest in the area was 106.9 at Caltex/Woolworths at Chancellor Park.

The Phillup Service Station at Woombye was selling at 112.9 cents a litre last week, well under the 117-119 of most service stations, but did not rate a mention on the fuel monitors.

Aussie World Garage proprietor Steve Amos said Motor

Mouth relied on customers to send in pricing information which made it difficult for "little guys" to rate a mention.

Mr Amos said large service stations with lots of customers were simply more likely to be nominated than smaller service stations with smaller customer bases.

How do you shop for petrol or diesel?

This poll ended on 24 February 2016.

Current Results

I go to the closest servo.

60%

I drive around until I find the cheapest price.

20%

I check with online price monitors to find the best price.

20%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Ryan Hidassy, of Rainbow Fuel, Caloundra, said the service station had dropped off MotorMouth for a while despite often being at the lower end of the price scale and one of the last to raise its prices.

"If no-one that comes into our service station gets on the internet, we never get a mention," he said.

Jenny Harth, who runs the Phillup Service Station at Woombye with her husband, Peter, was not concerned that they did not get a mention with the fuel watchers.

"We don't get worried because we've got a pretty good customer base here and we get customers through here all the time," she said.

"A few weeks ago, someone put something on Facebook (about the price) and we were that crowded with people we couldn't keep up."

Mr Amos said motorists should shop around themselves rather than relying on the fuel monitors, particularly at the end of a price cycle.

"It's worthwhile, I think, keeping an eye on independents in your area and keeping an eye on price fluctuations and when they creep up, you should look at your independent before you fill up."

John Thompson, of the Pomona Driveway, said his service station had rated a couple of mentions on price monitors but motorists needed to think about more than saving a few cents a litre if they wanted independent service stations to survive and provide choice.



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