Shepparton makes top seven for cheapest unleaded fuel

By Laura Briggs

Shepparton has proved to be one of the cheapest towns in regional Victoria in which to buy unleaded fuel, according to a recent report released by RACV.

The investigation surveyed 27 regional towns across Victoria and the suburbs of Melbourne to find the cheapest and most expensive locations throughout the 2018-19 financial year.

Results show that Shepparton came in at sixth-cheapest for unleaded fuel, averaging 139.4c per litre, while Ararat was the most expensive, averaging 150.9c. Also among the more expensive of the regional towns was Echuca, Kyabram and Cobram.    

Benalla offered drivers the cheapest of all, with an average cost of 131.7c — 5.8c cheaper than the next cheapest in Ballarat.

Regional Victoria overall was on average cheaper than metro Melbourne, with an average price of 139.6c compared to 140.5c in the city. 

RACV’s manager of vehicle engineering Michael Case said pricing differences simply came down to competition.

“In one word it’s competition; in two words it’s local competition,” he said.

“In highly competitive local areas when one petrol retailer cuts their prices, other locals competitors follow.”

Mr Case said a gradual rationalisation of petrol stations in some areas had resulted in softer competition and therefore higher prices.

At the same time, he said some petrol retailers relied on their shop sales to boost profits and were prepared to cut margins on petrol to attract customers into their store.