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Size doesn’t matter when it comes to cheapest fuel in 2020: NRMA research

How did the Clarence Valley rate?

The NRMA has revealed the 36 regional towns and shires in New South Wales that offered cheaper petrol prices than Sydney throughout 2020, with one third of the state cheaper than the capital despite some locations being up to 600kms farther from the nearest terminal gate.

Of the 135 towns included in the research, service stations in the Clarence Valley area ranked in the top half for cheaper average prices, with Yamba the best in position number 36, with an average price during 2020 of 122.7 cents per litre.

The Clarence Valley as a whole came in at 40 on 123.2 cents per litre.

Grafton motorists paid the most, forking out 124 cents per litre.

Analysis conducted by the NRMA of average unleaded petrol prices across NSW throughout 2020 revealed fuel in the Weddin Shire in state’s the Central West was the cheapest on average at 112.7 cents a litre – more than 10 cents cheaper than Sydney’s average of 122.9 cents.

Sydney’s petrol price cycle in 2020 proved to be the worst at offering motorists a fair bargain, with the price consistently staying higher for longer and falling at one-third the rate that it rose. Across the state 37 locations were cheaper than Sydney in 2020 – up from 22 in 2019.

As a result, more stable prices in the regions has resulted in many regional motorists paying less for fuel at the bowser. The analysis found the shires or towns in NSW with the cheapest fuel in 2020 were:
1. Weddin (112.7 cents per litre)
2. Muswellbrook (116.7 cents)
3. Tamworth (117 cents)
4. Freemans Waterhole (117.4 cents)
5. Lithgow (117.4 cents)

The most expensive unleaded fuel in 2020 could be found at:
1. Central Darling (143.9 cents)
2. Blue Mountains (139.4 cents)
3. Bega (134.4 cents)
4. Bourke (133.4 cents)
5. Parkes (133.2 cents)

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said that traditionally, regional prices had been dearer than city prices, but Sydney’s profit-rich price cycles of 2020 meant city prices were higher than they should be on average.

“What this analysis shows us is that it was evidently cheaper in 2020 to not have a price cycle and that many regional locations with fewer service station options were still far cheaper than Sydney, which is meant to be the nucleus of petrol price competition,” Mr Khoury said.

“With interstate and overseas travel plans being replaced by local trips, it’s more important than ever for motorists in New South Wales to be aware of fuel prices on the road.

“It’s not uncommon for motorists to fill up at a service station, only to find a cheaper price in the next town. Using the myNRMA App before you fill up is the single best tool at motorists’ disposal to beat unnecessarily high petrol prices.”

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