Lifestyle

High cost of keeping our cars on the road

Gladstone locals are suffering at the pump.
Gladstone locals are suffering at the pump.

WE'RE spending $80-$400 a week on fuel.

And Gladstone residents aren't happy.

The Observer today reveals the city has the highest fuel prices of central Queensland's major cities.

James Donald said he spent $400 a week filling two cars.

"Filling up, when empty, does hurt. When both cars are empty, it costs over $400," he said on The Observer's Facebook page.

Mr Donald was among 107 readers who revealed their average weekly spend on petrol or diesel on The Observer's Facebook site.

Gladstone residents pay 158.5 a litre for unleaded. Closely followed by Rockhampton on 156.6, Bundaberg on 155.9 and Mackay on 154.3, with Brisbane on 164.1, according to data from comparethemarket.com.au.

Rather than shop around, or limit the amount of fuel they buy, motorists are choosing to wear the higher costs of a full tank, because of convenience.

About 75% of people who posted on The Observer's Facebook page said they always fill up, rather than topping up their tanks.

Graham Tombling said filling up saves making multiple journeys, while Lysh Luhrs believes it is cheaper to get a full tank rather than small amounts every week.

Stacey Plant, runs her own business at home and fills up her car every two weeks.

"I tend to drive till it's empty and then fill all the way up, so it's usually about $80 each time," she said.

"It does break the bank at times.

"When we visit family, it's definitely cheaper to fill up out of town."

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said because Gladstone wasn't affected by the price cycle experienced in south-east Queensland, people could shop around without being influenced by the days of the week.

"Regional areas don't have a lot of variance," she said. "So you're not affected by the cheap Tuesdays, and things like that."

However, slight fluctuations could be used to the advantage of drivers.

"Gladstone is at the higher end at the moment, so our advice would be to hang tight for a few days at the very least until it goes down," she said.

Gladrock transport manager Paul Webster said fuel was a huge expense for the business, but they always fill up rather than top up.

"The fuel market is one of those commodities, like bread and milk, you have to have it," Mr Webster said.

"If you need it, you get it. You couldn't pick the day."

Topics:  cars, driving, fuel



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