Guest Post – Filled and Fooled

Yesterday I drove from Wellington to Tauranga.  I kept an eye on petrol prices.  I only use 91 octane so I didn’t check any others.

In Plimmerton, just out of Wellington Z Energy wanted $2.06 (I ignored the .9 bit)  That’s where I fuelled up.  Bugger.

In Levin $1.79 – Allied and the others were $1.80.

In Rotorua Gull asked $1.72.

That’s 34 cents difference.  Whew!!!   

At $2.06 the oil company’s margin is typically 23% or $0.47 cents a litre.  So Gull in Rotorua are pulling their belt in tightly at our advantage.

I have never been one to spend $5.00 to head across town to save $4.50.  I do try and fill up at Takanini in Auckland where prices are up to 10 cents below the Auckland average but I can not be bothered chasing the last few cents most times.  Time and cost usually beats savings.  Shopping around is limited by when the tank gets down too.

However, on a trip some prior research obviously is worthwhile.

My car devours nearly 60 litres when empty so I could get over $20.00 in savings by some careful planning.   There are places to find daily prices online.

Another angle to consider.  Assume Gull in Rotorua are actually profitable – a safe assumption surely?  Assume Z Energy are paying roughly the same for oil, freight, taxes and GST.

Therefore at 36 cents extra Z Energy at Plimmerton are having a ball.  Extend it out a bit.  There were 5 vehicles filling up while I was there.  Assume it takes 4 mins to turn those 5 vehicles around and assume they averaged 40 litres filling.

15 vehicles X 40 litres X 15 hours a day X 365 days a year = $1.2 mill a year.  Mmmm!!  That’s all cream plus the margins on their shop activities which one could presume pay the wages and at least some overheads.

Maybe Judith Collins is on to something demanding an investigation.


-via email

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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