Cheap petrol hunt can pay off (+video)

By Kyra Dawson

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Rotorua has a reputation for being one of the cheapest places in the country to buy petrol, but an informal price survey shows a discrepancy that makes it worth shopping around.

An unofficial Rotorua Daily Post survey yesterday found prices across town varied from 164.9c to 170.9c for 91 octane.

The two lowest petrol prices of those surveyed were found at Mobil Te Ngae and Challenge Malfroy Rd, both independently owned.

When compared with petrol prices from a survey done by the Rotorua Daily Post on November 27, fuel prices had gone up between 1 to 12 cents.

The national fuel price went up by 6c in the last week according to AA, a rise that "wouldn't make motorists too happy", AA petrol prices spokesman Mark Stockdale said.

In July last year, 91-octane petrol peaked at $2.12 a litre.

Mr Stockdale was unsure if it would reach that level again but said price increases were likely in the next few months.

Challenge Malfroy manager Jaswant Singh said the station liked to keep its prices low for its regular customers.

"We want to be able to compete with the other gas stations and keep our customers coming back."

He said they were all happy with the prices at the moment, adding supermarket vouchers added to the low price.

"We always accept any supermarket voucher and if it's a 4c off a litre we will give them 6c off."

Rotorua resident Yolandie Vosloo said she liked going to Challenge because it was convenient.

"I always come here, I think we get good service and the prices are good."

Mobil Te Ngae owner Matt Ralm said he was able to keep prices where he wanted them because his was an independently owned store.

"Mobil Te Ngae just took up the biggest growth for any Mobil station in New Zealand and I'd like to thank Rotorua for that."

Spokesman for Z Jonathan Hill said it was in the middle of a 24-hour 10c off a litre discount period for its 213 stations throughout the country, the third this month.

"There's a lot of it going on in the market at the moment. It's a straight competitive response to a competitive market."

Spokeswoman for BP Shelley Brady said BP reviewed its prices everyday.

"Where ever possible we try and be as competitive as possible but we can't always match independent prices."

Prices for 91 octane:

* Mobil Te Ngae Rd - 164.9c

* Challenge Malfroy Rd - 164.9c

* Pak'nSave Fenton St - 166.9c

* Gull Te Ngae Rd - 166.9c

* Caltex Te Ngae Rd - 166.9c

* Z on Fairy Springs Rd - 170.9c

* BP Fairy Springs Rd - 170.9c

- As of yesterday afternoon. Note this is not a comprehensive list of every petrol station in Rotorua.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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