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Fuel Prices - Real Time Data Available To Australian Motorists Soon Photo:
Trevor Collett | Dec, 24 2015 | 1 Comment

Motorists in Australia will soon have access to ‘real time’ fuel prices following Federal Court proceedings involving suppliers and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The issue concerned data collation by market intelligence agancy Informed Sources, which provides current pricing to fuel retailers but not to the general public.

A resolution will now see the data available to anyone, meaning drivers can check pricing in the surrounding area in real time before deciding where to fill up.

The data is also available to the likes of the NRMA, RACV and RACT, and could soon be used to power mobile phone fuel pricing apps with a much higher degree of accuracy than those currently on offer.

“I welcome and appreciate the decision of Informed Sources and the petrol retailers to make the pricing information available to consumers at the same time the retailers receive it,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“This will help consumers make better and more informed decisions about where and when to buy petrol by helping them identify the best time to buy and the sites with the lowest price.”

Informed Sources is updated every 15 to 30 minutes, meaning price fluctuations on fuel are available almost immediately.

The ACCC had argued that fuel suppliers could use this information to ‘fix’ prices, as only retailers had access to the data showing what almost all of their competitors were charging.

Now, the Commission hopes retailers will be pressured into matching the lowest prices in their area.

“The ACCC believes that greater transparency of petrol prices and the behaviour of petrol retailers across Australia will reduce the potential for any adverse effect of the Informed Sources service on competition,” Mr Sims said.

Informed Sources was previously available to motoring groups and private operators for a subscription fee, but fuel suppliers could refuse permission for these outlets to publish the data supplied.

The changes will come into effect from the middle of next year, with the agreement to last at least five years.

MORE: ACCC Calls Out Carmakers On Capped-price Servicing Terms
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