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Lack of competition is seeing Brisbane drivers ripped off at the petrol bowser, new research has revealed.

A survey from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that motorists paid 3.3 cents per litre (cpl) more for fuel on average than Australia’s other four largest cities in recent years.

“The ACCC’s report confirms Brisbane drivers’ suspicions that they are paying too much for petrol, and that some local fuel retailers are enjoying high profit margins at their expense,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The high retail prices and margins for petrol in Brisbane have cost motorists there around $50 million per year more than their interstate counterparts since 2009–10. This is despite wholesale prices in Brisbane being similar to those in the other four largest cities,” Mr Sims said.

Within January to April of this year, the research found that the extent of “aggressive retail pricing” by independent chains was much lower in Brisbane than Sydney.

“Independent chains can be competitive price setters in large metropolitan markets, and their absence means that prices are otherwise higher. There are only four independent chains in Brisbane: 7-Eleven, Puma Energy, Freedom Fuels and United,” Mr Sims said.

“By comparison, Sydney has seven independent chains, some of which explicitly state their aim to sell competitively-priced petrol. A key reason that Brisbane prices are higher than other capital cities is the lack of independent chains,” Mr Sims said.

Brisbane motorists are encouraged to download fuel price apps and looks at consumer websites to ensure they are buying the most affordable petrol.

Full details of the study is are available here