Fuel discounts still attract shoppers, despite warnings

In the wake of record fuel prices across Queensland, motorists say increased shopper docket discounts will have a “dramatic impact” on where they fill up.

According to locals, most drivers go out of their way to shop at Coles or Woolworths in order to take advantage of the discounts.

The shopper dockets offered by major supermarkets originally discounted fuel by 4c per litre, but have recently climbed to 45c per litre.

People in Brisbane interviewed by Newsbytes said the discounts made a difference to their petrol-buying decisions.

Jacob from Aspley said the discounts will affect where people choose to fill up: “If it’s 45c off per litre, for sure. I’d choose that over filling up at an independent petrol station, without a doubt.”

Zoe from Beerwah agreed: “They definitely impact how I fill up, particularly when they offer the higher discounts. We will go out of our way to shop at Woolworths.”

But RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth has warned that shopper docket discounts have escalated out of control.

“While we acknowledge that many of our members take advantage of the shopper docket discounts, we’re concerned the discounts might result in excessive domination of the market by Coles and Woolworths and lead to more expensive fuel for those not using the dockets,” Mr Roth said.

“Queensland motorists are already being hit with high petrol prices due to the falling Australian dollar and higher oil prices. It’s essential that healthy competition remains in the market so that motorists are not hit with additional rises.”

Ezra from Windsor agreed: “It will have some impact in the fact that there is very little competition in terms of supermarkets and where you can buy your petrol. Ultimately it will come down to how much it costs.”

According to Coles and Woolworths, the petrol discounts are popular with customers who value the savings they can make on their fuel purchases.

A Woolworths spokesperson said: “Woolworths has been offering customers petrol discounts for 17 years to reward loyalty for shopping in out supermarkets. The standard offer has remained at four cents a litre and we also offer bigger savings from time to time.”

The major supermarket has also responded to suggestions that the heightened discounts will inevitably push the cost of fuel up long-term.

“The price of fuel is determined by a number of factors including global oil prices and movements in the Australian dollar,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.

Regardless of the possible long-term implications, customers of the supermarket giants have found the discounts helpful in managing their weekly expenses.


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