Mike Stevens | Jul 6, 2012

A new survey by motoring services body NRMA has found that a staggering one-in-two motorists have been stung by misleading fuel price boards in the past year.

Surveying 800 motorists in New South Wales, the results showed that 54 percent of respondents drove into a service station expecting the displayed price, only to discover a more expensive pump price.

Over 30 percent of respondents claimed it had happened at least three times in the past year.

The survey comes as the NSW and Australian Governments begin to take steps to force fuel retailers to properly display all prices.

Coles and Woolworths-aligned service stations will also be required to advertise the full price of fuel, and not just the discounted shopper-docket price.

The move has the support of motorists, with 95 percent of respondents agreeing it will help to give drivers better information on deciding where to refuel.

"More than two-thirds say price boards don't give them the information they need and one-in-four are driving off without filling up after they get to the bowser and discover the real price," NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said.

"What concerns the NRMA is that half of those who arrive at the bowser begrudgingly fill up and end up paying more than they thought they would - it's these people the legislation will help."

More than half (57 percent) of people surveyed also believed the new rules would encourage more competition between oil companies as it would force them to advertise all fuels and include the non-discounted price.

"The NRMA believes these changes will encourage service stations to fight harder for customers driving past as it will mean the prices of all their fuels will be on display for all to see," Ms Machin said.

"More competition is exactly what the petrol industry needs."

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