RAA calls rural hike in petrol prices a "rip off"

An unexpected hike in the price of petrol in parts of SA has been dubbed a "rip off" by the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA).

Small communities such as Kadina, Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Victor Harbor have all seen petrol prices spike by upwards of 13 cents per litre over the last few days.

According to RAA senior analyst Chris West, motorists in the affected towns are being essentially "held to ransom".

"This is a blatant rip off. The industry can legitimately increase prices by 3cpl due to recent wholesale price increases, but certainly not up to 13cpl," said Mr West in a statement released February 7.

"The only way they can access a fair price is by using the full double discount offered by the supermarkets."

Mr West and the RAA have called for an inquiry by the ACCC into the price hikes, and have suggested that supermarkets may be trying to recoup profits lost in metropolitan city centres from country motorists.

Meanwhile in Queensland, the RACQ has put forth new evidence that suggests the seven day fuel cycle - in which the price of petrol bottomed out on a Tuesday - may be a thing of the past.

RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth says that the shift means it is now more important than ever to fill up when petrol prices are at their minimum.

"Since mid-2012 price cycles have increased from around ten days to this latest record of 20 days,” said Mr Roth.

"With the emergence of these record long cycles, it is now even more important to buy fuel when prices hit rock bottom, otherwise you could be caught paying up to 15cpl more for the same fuel."

One great way in which many organisations have been able to decrease the ongoing petrol expenses of their fleet and minimise fuel consumption is by investing in fleet management software.

This is because software for fleet management can offer sophisticated fuel modules which track and analyse the various consumption rates of the individual vehicles and drivers in your fleet.

In this manner, it is possible to determine where inefficiencies are occurring and where action needs to be taken in order to improve overall fuel consumption.