Bay of Plenty fuel prices can vary by as much as 20 cents if you know where to shop.

An independently owned fuel station and another that campaigns on its no-frills prices are the cheapest of more than 20 of the Bay's busiest providers surveyed across the region yesterday.

The price survey of service stations in Tauranga, Rotorua, Katikati, Te Puke and Whakatāne found the cost to fuel up could be as much as $2.33 a litre, compared with $2.13 at Gull on Te Ngae Rd in Rotorua and $2.15 at Challenge on Malfroy Rd in Rotorua.

If you're a pensioner, you could end up paying just $2.07 a litre at the latter.

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Challenge owner Harpreet Singh said he was mindful of the impact fuel prices had on customers. When the market dictated an increase in prices, the station waited about a day before transferring this to customers, Singh said.

Challenge Malfroy Rd owner Harpreet Singh says giving customers cheaper petrol is important to his team. Photo / Stephen Parker
Challenge Malfroy Rd owner Harpreet Singh says giving customers cheaper petrol is important to his team. Photo / Stephen Parker

"We don't start putting prices up straight away, we give customers some time. We slowly put it up - 1c one day then maybe 2c the next couple of days. We cover that. It's not much and customers love to get cheap fuel so if we can try to do that, they love it."

Singh said the station also gave a discount to SuperGold Card holders of 8c per litre.

He said his team also worked to ensure customer loyalty by providing forecourt services such as filling cars, pumping tyres and checking oil.

By comparison, motorists were yesterday charged $2.33 a litre at both Z and BP in Te Puke, Z in 15th Ave, and Tauranga Caltex stores on Otumoetai Rd and Cameron Rd.

BP managing director Debi Boffa said the company reviewed prices daily to ensure they were as competitive as possible.

Boffa said recent price changes had been influenced by product cost increases and the weakening New Zealand dollar.

Petrol shopper, Josie Green. 09 October 2018 Daily Post photograph by Stephen Parker
Petrol shopper, Josie Green. 09 October 2018 Daily Post photograph by Stephen Parker

Z Energy chief executive Mike Bennetts disagreed with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's claim that fuel companies were "fleecing" Kiwi consumers. He said the fuel market was highly competitive.

Mobil's Andrew McNaught said recent changes in prices were driven by increased excise duty and other taxes, increased product costs and fluctuating exchange rates, though they are still influenced by the other factors previously mentioned.

No one from Gull or Caltex could be reached before publication.

AA's Mark Stockdale said taxes, including a nearly 60c per litre excise, made up a large chunk of fuel prices.

Stockdale wanted the Government to stop charging GST on fuel excise, a move which would see prices drop 10c a litre immediately.

"The AA thinks it's unfair, our members think it's unfair."

Increasing costs prompted the formation of a Facebook page calling for Kiwis around the country to refrain from filling up on October 26 in protest. But fuel companies hit back, blaming the Government's own taxes as a reason motorists might be feeling "fleeced".

This week Ardern said she was "hugely disappointed in the level of price that consumers are currently paying at the pump for fuel".

Bay motorists lump "crazy" fuel prices

Bay of Plenty commuter Kaaran Stirling says there's only one place he goes for cheap fuel. Photo/John Borren
Bay of Plenty commuter Kaaran Stirling says there's only one place he goes for cheap fuel. Photo/John Borren

For motorist Kaaran Stirling, fueling up at a self-serve Gull station in Pāpāmoa was a "no-brainer".

The Tokoroa resident is a personal trainer and travels regularly between the forestry town, Taupō and Tauranga for work.

"I always come to this station. They are a lot cheaper and I find it better."

Stirling said he made a conscious decision about a month ago to only fuel up at Parton Rd "since the prices have gone up".

"It's ridiculous," he said.

"Things were hard before, now they're even harder. Petrol prices have gone up but my wages haven't gone up in a while. Cheap is good."

In Rotorua, Josie Green had just come back from an Australian holiday and found the price of fuel had "gone crazy" while she was away.

"It's constantly going up, more and more every time I fill the car. Over in Australia, it was still below $2 a litre."

She said there were ways people could avoid the rising prices by shopping sensibly.

"I always go where the specials are, especially out at Mobil on Te Ngae when they do deals."

Green said she also has the discount cards, such as the Challenge fuel card.

"It saves me even more money without really having to do anything. I don't know why people would shop for petrol without one."

- Kiri Gillespie and Alice Guy