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Private Fleet wants Fuel Watch Action on Diesel Prices, Australia’s biggest online car buying service says that the price of diesel fuel should be reviewed by the Petrol Commissioner.

According to Marketing Director Tim Marsh, the sales of diesel powered cars were steadily increasing until May this year when the price of diesel began to accelerate away from petrol. Since May there has been a decline in the sale of diesel powered cars.

“We believe that the price of diesel in Australia should be closer to or less than petrol especially because diesel requires less refining and in most countries is cheaper than petrol,” said Marsh.

“Our sales figures clearly show that as the petrol price began to increase about 12 months ago the sale of diesel powered vehicles started to increase (due to better fuel economy). Then in May when the price of diesel started to power away from petrol (it has been up to 30 cents per litre more) those sales started to decline and we saw a marked switch back to petrol powered cars.

“We call on the Petrol Commissioner to undertake a review of the price of diesel fuel. We can’t see any plausible reason for the price differential, never mind an increasing price discrepancy and it’s hurting not just vehicle sales but adding to transportation costs around the country,” he added.

“There are many more diesel cars now available in Australia including a number of four cylinder European models and those buyers bought them because of their fuel efficiency and because in some cases the emissions per kilometre travelled are lower and therefore less damaging to the environment than petrol vehicles. We’re sure that a lot of diesel owners are now wishing they had have stuck with petrol,” said Marsh.

We will wait to see if FuelWatch will take up the cause of Australian consumers on this issue.

In the graph below you will notice how in May, June & July of 2008 the price of diesel began to accelerate away from petrol resulting in a slump of diesel vehicle sales, which has begun to recover again in September given the reduction in pricing discrepancy between the two fuels.