– By Victoria Nelson –
As the years pass it’s the milestones in life which mark changing seasons and key events that become etched in our memories to form the tapestry our lives. At Easter, besides the religious significance of the holiday, the annual headlines bemoaning the price gouging of petrol retailers has become a key cultural milestone marking the start of a four day weekend and mass exodus from our cities.
So it’s with some sadness that I noticed that there weren’t any headlines sticking it to the oil companies this week. And for the first time in my memory (which does go past the post-lockdown G&T binges), pump prices are dropping the week before Easter!
According to the Australian Petroleum Institute website the National Average pump prices fell 7.1 cpl for the week ending 5th April. The lowest capital city average price was $1.12 per litre. This is a massive savings compared to the 2019 national average pump price of $1.42 per litre.
Fleet Managers are always looking for ways to bring down costs so 2020 looks like the perfect storm for a reduction of fleet operational budgets.
The dramatic fall in oil prices is thanks to a production war between OPEC and Russia. Normally when the prices fall the Australian dollar depreciates as well against the US currency keeping pump prices at the same level. This year when the oil price fell, the dollar fell further thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Then the COVID-19 crashed the economy reducing the number of kilometres that will be travelled by fleet drivers in 2020 providing cost saving measure number two.
Now with the national lockdown, the annual Easter road trips have been cancelled. So personal use of company vehicles will be restricted and the games people play to stay within company policy and keep the tank full won’t happen in 2020 reducing expenses even further.
What games? Well, it depends on the policy. Filling up on the Thursday and Tuesday will get most people 200km from home. Or, if it’s a home state policy, filling the tank in Tweed Heads will give the family a whole week of beaches and theme parks.
A lot has changed since COVID-19 stricken the world. People are wondering how different the world will be post-pandemic. I’m sure most things will return to normal in 2021 and 2020 will be a page in the history books. The one thing I know will be back in 2021 is pre-Easter price rise at the petrol pumps for the annual exodus. So enjoy the irony.