One in 12 drivers have had to abandon their car and walk or cycle to reduce fuel consumption, finder.com.au has revealed. Picture: Glenn Ferguson
One in 12 drivers have had to abandon their car and walk or cycle to reduce fuel consumption, finder.com.au has revealed. Picture: Glenn Ferguson

Aussies ditch cars over ridiculous petrol prices: survey

PETROL prices are continuing to soar across the country forcing some Aussies to take drastic measures as they struggle to keep up with the cost.

Comparative website finder.com.au conducted a national survey of 1139 Aussie drivers revealing one in 12 drivers have had to abandon their car and walk or cycle to reduce fuel consumption.

It also found that seven per cent have had to cut back on going out in their car including missing events and appointments, because they can't afford prices.

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum data analysed by finder.com.au, the national average price of unleaded petrol rose 0.6 cents last week to 152.8 cents a litre.

Kate Browne, finance expert at finder.com.au, said the research highlighted the reality facing Australian drivers.

"As petrol prices rise, Australians are being forced to change how they drive and when," she said.

"It's going to impact a lot of families' school holidays - rising petrol prices could really start to threaten Australians day to day life."

More than 60,000 Aussies have already planned to boycott service stations to fight against increasing petrol prices in a national fuel strike due to take place on October 26

Organiser of the boycott, Queenslander grandmother Sabrina Lamont, is calling on the Federal Government to remove the burden of excise and taxes which accounts for more than 30 per cent of the cost of fuel at the bowser.

One in 12 drivers have had to abandon their car and walk or cycle to reduce fuel consumption, finder.com.au has revealed. Picture: Glenn Ferguson
One in 12 drivers have had to abandon their car and walk or cycle to reduce fuel consumption, finder.com.au has revealed. Picture: Glenn Ferguson

Fuel costs forced Ms Lamont to give up teaching music in the outback - a job she loved - about a year ago as she could no longer afford to keep buying petrol to travel 500km a week to teach isolated children.

The Queensland Government is currently planning to commence a two-year trial in December that requires fuel retailers to collate and publish their latest prices online.

As of yesterday, Melbourne leads with the highest average petrol price at $1.66 followed by Sydney at $1.62, Hobart at $1.60 and Canberra at $1.59, according to motormouth.com.au.

But, despite higher prices, a recent report by Australia Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) indicated consumers have more choice to shop around for petrol nowadays.

In a statement on Tuesday, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said with new retailers entering the market, it can have a positive impact on competition as businesses fight for market share.

"For many consumers, price is the most important factor when determining where to buy petrol. More players in the market means more options of where to buy petrol. This is important as we found prices vary considerably between retailers," Mr Sims said.

"For example, in our first industry report we found that in Sydney the difference between the highest priced and lowest priced retailer was 9.5 cents per litre in 2017. Price-sensitive consumers can therefore make significant savings over time by choosing to buy petrol at lower priced retailers."

Ms Browne has also called on drivers to shop around for the cheapest fuel, but also encouraging people to leave the car at home when possible.

"Knowing the places with lower prices will help you out - there's often a 20c a litre difference between the cheapest servo and most expensive."

"Drivers experiencing financial hardship could look at other places they could cut back.

"One of the biggest things people quickly change when fuel prices go up is their discretionary spending."

 

More than 60,000 people have committed and a further 60,000 are interested in a national fuel strike to be held on October 26.
More than 60,000 people have committed and a further 60,000 are interested in a national fuel strike to be held on October 26.

 

FUEL-SAVING TIPS (finder.com.au):

Use an app to find the cheapest petrol: MotorMouth, PetrolSpy, GasBuddy and FuelCheck can find the cheapest petrol near you. Remember to also try to fill up midweek when prices are generally cheaper.

Opt for ride-sharing services: Ride sharing services such as Uber, and car-sharing providers such as GoGet are simple and affordable alternatives to using your own car - and best of all, you don't need to fork out for the petrol used.

Make the most of petrol credit cards: A petrol rewards card can help you minimise fuel costs while also earning rewards points. However, just be mindful of a higher annual fee that may apply.

Get your car serviced regularly: Staying up to date with car services can prevent mechanical problems from developing. Maintaining your cars top notch condition means it will run smoothly and consume less fuel.



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