Fuel prices are now among the highest they have ever been in Hawke's Bay, but they're set to get even higher in the lead-up to Christmas, the Automobile Association is warning.
The cheapest 91 unleaded petrol in NZ on Wednesday was Gull Taihape at $2.05 with the top four cheapest in New Zealand all in Manawatū-Whanganui, according to the petrol price app Gaspy.
Hawke's Bay is generally known as a region with fuel that is close to the cheapest in NZ.
The most expensive it has been known to have reached was at the peak of soaring nationwide petrol prices in October 2018, when Hawke's Bay's lowest fuel price hit $2.24 - on that day at Gull in Waipukurau.
In Hawke's Bay the cheapest on Wednesday was Gull Napier on Taradale Rd at $2.15 a litre, just 9 cents off that mark.
Gull Napier also offered the lowest prices for unleaded 98 petrol ($2.35) and for diesel ($1.35).
The lowest prices for unleaded 95 petrol could also be found in Napier at Pak'nSave on Munroe St for $2.37.
Meanwhile, some of the most expensive fuel prices could be found at Gas Pakowhai on Pakowhai Rd which was charging $2.45 for unleaded 91 petrol and $2.65 for unleaded 95 petrol.
The most expensive unleaded 95 petrol was sold being sold at Mobil Waipukurau for $2.68.
BP Connect Stortford was charging $2.69 for unleaded 98 petrol while the Z Hastings Truckstop was charging $1.69 for diesel.
The national average price for 91 octane petrol currently sits at $2.39, "the highest it has ever been," according to Gaspy, while diesel goes for an average of $1.62.
Terry Collins, principal policy adviser for the Automobile Association, said petrol prices varied across NZ, but everything was now more than $2 a litre.
He didn't expect prices to drop any time soon and he said he thought they'd continue to rise ahead of Christmas.
Collins acknowledged it was "obviously hurting" and starting to "bite" many families, especially those already struggling.
"The Government doesn't set the prices but it has a big influence through the taxes that are added."
Additional costs included levies such as fuel excise duty tax, Emissions Trading Scheme, ACC levy, regional authorities and GST.
Margins for the different companies were added on top of that, though they were fairly low.
"There's a variety of different [petrol station] models. They have different ways of doing it."
He expected prices would be cheaper at places like Gull which had a "very simple service station model" with low overhead operating costs.
Fuel prices also tended to be less expensive in larger centres due to increased competition between service stations driving costs down.
"It's a volume game," Collins said.
It was worth shopping around and signing up to fuel discount schemes, some of which were also linked to supermarkets, he added.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said many people had been struggling due to the challenges of Covid-19, and fuel prices going up on top of food price rises made it really tough for a lot of families.
"This is a global issue and unfortunately we are not immune.
"A lot of people commute to and from Hastings for work and this is hard for them too.
"We know that the Hawke's Bay Regional Council is looking at this issue and how to make public transport more accessible – this work is becoming and more and more important."