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Frequently asked questions - petrol price signs 

From 1 September 2013, new requirements for fuel price signs will come into effect. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new requirements.

Why is a new fuel price standard needed in NSW? 

The NSW standard needed updating due to changing consumption patterns, with premium fuels, E10 and diesel now the most commonly sold fuels in NSW.

Motorised have become confused about fuel price signs with some showing discounted fuel prices and others showing undiscounted fuel prices.

New rules are needed so there is a level playing field for motorists who can now compare undiscounted fuel prices.

This will help motorists to make an informed choice and help drive competition.

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What concerns did drivers have about fuel prices? 

In July 2012 NSW Fair Trading conducted an online survey with 1340 respondents taking part.

Over 90 per cent of respondents said they preferred non-discounted prices be displayed on fuel price boards.

60 per cent of respondents stated it was generally unclear what price they would pay for the type of fuel they wished to purchase.

In 2012 the Australian Automobile Association completed a survey where almost 80 percent of respondents indicated they would support a consistent display of fuel types and prices on fuel boards across all service stations.

Also in June 2012 the NRMA conducted a survey that found 67 per cent of respondents felt the lack of pricing transparency was hampering their capacity to make the best choice when buying fuel.

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Can a fuel price sign advertise a discounted price? 

Under the new standard only the price available to all consumers can be displayed. However, a sign can still contain information about a discount or special offer (eg. “save 4 cents per litre”).

What does this mean for the shopper docket discount schemes?

No change. The schemes can still operate and while the discounted price can’t be up on the board, the discount can be advertised.

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Can service stations have more than one price board?  

Yes, as long as they advertise four fuels (if selling four or more fuels) in a manner readily visible to motorists.

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What fuel prices must be displayed by a service station selling four fuels or more?  

A service station must show the price of at least four fuels, being LPG and/or diesel (if these are sold), together with the top-selling fuels for that service station.

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When were fuel price standard changes first announced? 

NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts first announced the fuel price standard changes in August 2012 and gave service stations over a year to implement the changes.

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What happens if a service station is not compliant after 1 September 2013? 

Fair Trading may take enforcement action against non-compliant service stations.

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What are the penalties for non-compliance? 

The maximum fine for failing to comply is $22,000 for an individual or $110,000 for a corporation.

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What does a member of the public do if they see a non-compliant service station? 

They can telephone Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or provide feedback at make an enquiry on this website.

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Were service stations given time to comply with the new standard? 

Yes, there was a 12-month transitional period to allow service stations to make the changes.

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Are there any exemptions to the new standard? 

A service station which sells petrol or diesel is only exempt from the price sign requirements if it is inconsistent with local planning restrictions.

The standard does not apply to electric vehicle recharging stations. A Statement of Regulatory Intent regarding price sign requirements for electric vehicle recharging stations can be found on the Statements of Regulatory Intent page.

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Do service stations need to install new expensive petrol price boards? 

No. Ground level boards with old-fashioned manual numbers are compliant.

Watch Minister Roberts announce the commencement of the new petrol price sign requirements (on YouTube)


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