Salamander Bay resident John Winslow has urged fellow motorists to shop around for the best deal on fuel – even if it means a short drive off the Tomaree Peninsula.
In the past week the NRMA noted a 21 cent price gap on ethanol blended fuel between the Tomaree Peninsula and Williamtown, which is one of Mr Winslow’s preferred places to fill up.
“I haven’t seen the price go below 148.4 cents in weeks and weeks around here,” he said.
The NRMA notes the Tomaree Peninsula had historically paid higher prices for fuel like many coastal areas with limited competition.
Mr Winslow said people paid too much for the convenience of nearby service stations and urged people to “bring them to heel”.
“It’s the holiday makers in Nelson Bay who are just nipping here and there in their cars, they’re stuck with paying this, or like I do, they can drive up the road where it’s cheaper,” he said.
He and wife Krystyna on average use a tank of fuel each fortnight running errands.
If they have to travel to Newcastle they make a point of filling up at Williamtown on the way home.
“If we’re not going to to Newcastle, I’ll still drive to Salt Ash to fill up,” Mr Winslow said. “It might take three litres to do it, but I’m still saving money.”
Mrs Winslow said more competition was needed.
“It’s making people aware that if you drive even a little way up the road you can save 20 cents off a litre and over the space of a year the savings mount up,” she said.
“Maybe when the new service station is built at Salamander Bay, the prices will come down, who knows.”
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury urged more people to do as the Winslows do.
“Nelson Bay and the surrounding areas are historically more expensive because there isn’t as much through traffic, and like Sydney there are coastal suburbs that are more expensive,” he said.
“Nelson Bay being a holiday town, it’s also being used to the advantage of retailers.
“We don’t want people filling up at 149.9 when there’s cheaper options. Even a 20 cent saving adds up to $15 a tank for many people.”