More petrol pain for drivers

The price of fuel has been rising at an alarming rate on the back of Middle East instability.
The price of fuel has been rising at an alarming rate on the back of Middle East instability. Rob Williams

A SLIGHT reprieve may be in store for those who are able to hold out from filling the tank until Good Friday.

Petrol prices have reached astronomical heights in the lead-up to the holidays, with an average of just below $1.60 per litre across south-east Queensland last Sunday.

While the state's peak motoring body has forecast a drop of as much as 10 cents a litre in time for the long weekend, the events of this week are looking more like a sign of things to come than just an aberration.

RACQ executive manager for public policy Michael Roth said he expected a resurgence in petrol prices once Easter was done and dusted.

"Essentially it's the crude oil price globally that is to blame," Mr Roth said.

"We are now close to those record prices that we saw in July, 2008."

That record - of $1.62 per litre - is under serious threat this year if petrol prices continue the constant ascent that has been seen over the last 15 months.

Petrol prices in Ipswich have gone from an average of 131.9 in January 2011, to 150.5 in March this year.

Diesel has followed suit, averaging 132.6 in January 2011 compared to 150.3 last month.

Instability in the Middle East has been blamed for the high price of oil.

Mr Roth said that was a legitimate reason for the rises.

"About the only scenario that we can see reversing this trend is if there were to be a Global Financial Crisis Mark II," he said.

"The only advice we can give motorists who are looking to buy a new car is to buy the most fuel-efficient model available."

Mr Roth said hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and Camry, which run on both electricity and petrol, were out-competing LPG-powered cars.

He said positive developments were also occurring in electric car technology, but that cars that ran solely on electricity were still massively overpriced.

"Look at the Mitsubishi IMIEV," he said.

"You are still looking at paying $50,000 for a car that would otherwise cost you about $20,000."

A search for the cheapest fuel in Ipswich on the RACQ website yesterday revealed the BP at Tivoli was selling unleaded for 152.9 cents a litre, nearly four cents lower than the next-cheapest - Kangaroo Fuels at Leichhardt.

The cheapest diesel was at the BP Eastern Heights at 149.9.


Rising costs

Monthly average ULP price across Ipswich:

  • Jan 2011: 131.7
  • Apr 2011: 144.0
  • Jul 2011: 141.1
  • Oct 2011: 148.3
  • Jan 2012: 144.4
  • Mar 2012: 150.5

Topics:  easter middle east motorists oil petrol

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