Drivers urged to fuel up now after price spike

Drivers in Bendigo are being urged to fill up their vehicles as soon as possible after prices at some service stations crept higher than 145 cents per litre on Wednesday.

The price of unleaded petrol at the BP in Long Gully has averaged between 119.67 and 124.66 cents per litre according to the RACV’s fuel watch website, but was being advertised at 145.9 cents per litre on Wednesday.

A number of other petrol stations in Bendigo were still offering fuel at prices in the mid-120s but RACV fuel spokesmen Michael Case warned they could also be on the rise.

Mr Case said prices had recently reached the 145 cents per litre mark in Sydney, with the increase potentially about to be passed on to customers in regional Victoria.

“There’s potentially also an increase in prices in Melbourne following what’s already happened in some other capital cities and in that occurring it could also now be showing up in some regional centres,” he said.

The Long Gully BP price was a full 26 cents per litre higher than the Apco in nearby Kangaroo Flat, which was still offering unleaded fuel at 119.9 cents per litre on Wednesday, and Mr Case said there was no apparent underlying explanation for such a sudden and dramatic increase.

“Really from our point of view it’s impossible to justify such a large increase so quickly, especially in regional areas where the price tends to be more stable over time,” he said.

“This is really a huge increase and is unable to be justified and we would be interested in any comment from oil companies as to why this size of increase now.”

Mr Case said while it remained to be seen whether other service stations would follow BP’s lead, it was better to be safe than sorry.

“We just see the effect and provide advice to motorists which in this case would be to avoid that service station and fill up at any of the others which have still got the lower prices,” he said.

“And to get in while they can do that in case the prices are actually going up because we’re talking a difference of about 25 cents a litre which is significant on a tankful.

“Our advice is to fill up sooner rather than later and do it now.”

Bowsers at the BP in Kangaroo Flat were also displaying prices above 145 cents per litre for unleaded petrol, but the service station had stopped selling the fuel.

A BP spokeswoman would not comment on the price discrepancies but said unleaded fuel would be available from the Kangaroo Flat outlet again shortly.

“Due to a piece of equipment on-site, we have been temporarily unable to supply unleaded fuel. We sincerely apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this may have caused,” she said.

“We expect to carry out some repairs and make unleaded fuel available for supply again shortly.”