Petrol prices: Pumps underpouring, price relief in 2023

Spot checks of thousands of petrol bowsers across Australia have exposed an infuriating truth in the midst of soaring fuel prices.

About 4000 petrol bowsers underwent spot checks to ensure they were releasing the correct amount of fuel as part an annual audit by the National Measurement Institute.

At least 6 per cent of bowsers were found to be “underpouring” petrol and consumers were footing the bill for petrol they did not receive.

It is damning news as Australians struggle to balance skyrocketing fuel prices combined with rising inflation and other cost-of-living pressures.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the report was “telling” and the public had every right to expect pumps to get it right every time, not just most times.

For every $100 of fuel delivered, consumers were losing between 30c-90c per transaction.

Mr Khoury said while it was disappointing, the report did not suggest that the errors were being made intentionally.

In better news, drivers may soon see some cost-of-living relief at the bowser, as oil prices falls to below pre-Ukraine war levels, the NRMA says.

The organisation forecasts that petrol prices will continue to rise marginally during the holiday season, but for some parts of the country, “the worst is behind us” for soaring petrol prices.

“Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, prices are still going up,” Mr Khoury said.

“Most cities are about the $1.70 per litre mark and they will continue to rise, while prices are lowest in Adelaide and Perth where they are down to about $1.60 per litre.”

Earlier this year, petrol prices far exceeded $2 per litre at times.

Mr Khoury suggested that heading into the new year, the cost of petrol would likely ease for motorists.

“Oil prices have been falling below what they were prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

“While Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne won’t see that relief before Christmas, those prices will still go up about 12 cents on average before they drop back 30 cents a litre hopefully.”

Originally published as Petrol pumps caught underpouring in middle of petrol crisis, report says

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