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Paying the price for premium

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It turns out competition between petrol companies doesn’t extend to premium fuel.

Pahoia resident Bill Murphy regularly fills up at BP Te Puna. He uses premium because it’s better for his car – but he’s concerned it’s priced far above regular 91.

“Modern cars will adapt to lower octane levels,” says Bill.

“But the performance is definitely impacted using regular, and many manufacturers recommend 95 at a minimum.”

He wants to see premium listed on the price boards that sit outside petrol stations.

“Being made to advertise the price of 91 leads to competition, causing the price to drop. So I’d like to see similar price competition around premium.”

AA senior policy analyst Mark Stockdale says they’ve been talking about this issue for a long time.

“Some motorists have been complaining because they see 91 advertised at a lower price, and assume premium is also similarly priced. However, upon driving up to the pump they find the price of 95/98 to be substantially more than they anticipated.”

Normally the difference between 91 and 95 is nine cents per litre. But often it can be 30 or 40 cents more.

“If you’re discounting 91 by 30 cents from the national price, as some stations do, but they’re not discounting premium, then suddenly you’ve got that price gap,” says Mark.

He says Tauranga has aggressive local price competition – but the discounting often only applies to 91 and diesel.

“Some brands will discount premium, but unless you go in and check it at the pump, motorists have no way of knowing.”

“We think the lack of discounting on premium petrol is unfair. If a station is discounting 91 and diesel, they should also be discounting premium petrol.”

He also believes compelling petrol stations to advertise their premium price would lead to competition.

“They wouldn’t want to display a price difference of 40 or 50 cents a litre.”

BP corporate and external affairs manager Leigh Taylor says their premium brands are just that – premium – so they don’t discount them.

“Compared to BP Unleaded 91, these fuels offer power, responsiveness and efficiency benefits.  BP premium fuels include Active technology which has been developed to also bring our customers engine-cleaning and protecting benefits.

She says BP displays pricing of all fuel grades at the pump, as required by government regulations.

“The information displayed on the boards outside our stations is at our discretion, and because there isn’t space to include all prices, we display the price of BP Regular 91, our most popular product.”


Comments on SunLive

contact Crusher Collins...

Posted on 30-06-2017 21:06 | By maildrop

..she wants to put an end to rip offs, as long as it’s foreign companies. No bigger gouger than Air New Zealand though. Tauranga travellers have been getting ripped off for years.
A bit of a con

Posted on 30-06-2017 15:35 | By Really

Worth noting that BP Ngatai Road usually puts the price up the day or so before the discount day.... so it really isn’t that big of a discount.
@Mutley

Posted on 30-06-2017 15:01 | By Papamoaner

Be wary mate. One of those brands you mentioned adds ethanol (ethyl alcohol) to boost the octane rating which doesn’t bode well for all engine types.
So True

Posted on 30-06-2017 11:05 | By waiknot

This rort has been going on for ever. Perhaps SunLive can name and shame by listing all fuel prices. Just look it up on Gaspy app and list.
BP sign

Posted on 30-06-2017 10:17 | By hapukafin

LeighTaylor you are saying what suits you,BP sign are some 20 feet high in our area.and there is room for many more entries.you use to display all grades price.
PAYING THE PRICE

Posted on 30-06-2017 09:52 | By Laurie

about sums it up, the fuel companies are making up for the low profit margin in discounted 91 grade by fleecing us on the price of 95/98 grade fuel. Bill is correct as most modern cars run more efficiently on 95/98 grade producing more power resulting in better fuel economy - its time we stopped the third world thinking & used the fuel grade the manufacturers recommend.
BP Spin

Posted on 30-06-2017 09:50 | By 8157

Contact your local MP and join the AA by putting pressure on the government to change legislation requiring petrol companies to display the pricing of all their grades of petrol. Displaying 95 or 98 pricing will lead to a lowering of prices on those grades.
It's a rort alright

Posted on 30-06-2017 08:48 | By Papamoaner

And people with GDI engines are stuck in a cleft stick because if you don’t use high octane fuel and low ash oil in a GDI engine, it will eventually coke up, and once all the sensors get covered up with crap, engine management goes haywire. They’ve got us by the balls.
Bill needs to vote with his feet

Posted on 30-06-2017 08:44 | By mutley

Bill - we had the same problem as our car needs a minimum of 95 octane rated fuel. We have switched to Z Bethlehem and by using our Farmlands card with extra discount the pricing is even more competitive. There is competition in Bethlehem because Gull is right opposite Z. BP Te Puna don’t sell 95 - only the expensive 98 - and give very poor discount on Farmlands. Check the real requirement for your vehicle because many are designed for 95 and don’t really need 98.
Makers recommend

Posted on 30-06-2017 08:28 | By hapukafin

Agree with Bill there is a big difference between regular and premium.I use the manufactures recommendation of premium because the engine is designed for it and is better for the life of the engine.Pumps should be required to display all grades of fuel price. They use to.
 
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