HILLS and eastern independent fuel retailers have taken on the big industry leaders knocking out five of the top ten cheapest fuel locations in Perth last year.
Chidlow Growers Mart and Liquor Store, coming in with the top spot, along with FastFuel 24/7 Forrestfield (second), Better Choice (Bellevue), Vibe Gidgegannup and Shell (Gidgegannup), all out performed their bigger competitors with the cheapest unleaded petrol in the Perth metropolitan area.
With a yearly average price of 118.3 cents per litre for unleaded petrol the Chidlow store hit almost ten cents below the Perth metropolitan average of 128.2 cents.
Chidlow Growers Mart and Liquor store owner Blue Inder-Smith said despite tough competition with the bigger companies he was not surprised that Hills independents could pip them to the post.
Mr Inder-Smith started lowering his prices two years ago after the local community rallied to help fundraising efforts for one of his staff members in need.
“It was to give back to the locals for all their support they gave towards fundraising,” he said.
“That’s where it kicked off from but since then we’ve kept prices low just as a way to support our community.”
The family owned and operated business took equal first with a North Perth location for the cheapest ULP in 2016.
FuelWatch manager Lynne Gould said more independently operated sites in the East and Hills region contributed to the cheaper average price of fuel when compared to north and south of the river.
“Independents tend to compete on price as a point of difference to the major brands and supermarkets,” she said,
“Also, rivalry between independents lead to greater price competition.”
High volumes of diesel sales at some sites located on the outskirts of the City along Great Eastern Highway and Toodyay Road, also led to greater discounts.
“This is evident in the East/Hills metropolitan region where Vibe Toodyay Rd, Shell Gidgegannup and Gidgee Convenience and Stockfeed Store are all located along Toodyay Road within close proximity of each other,” she said.
“They compete fiercely for motorists that travel in and out of the metropolitan area along this route.”
The average price in 2017 rose 11.7 cents per litre from 116.5 in 2016.
Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said Perth fuel prices had been slowly rising for the past five months, but could not say if the trend would continue in 2018.
By Claire Ottaviano