Case launches interactive petrol price comparison website

The website allows users to compare actual spending on petrol across brands. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FUELKAKI

SINGAPORE - The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) launched an online petrol pump price comparison website on Monday (Jan 13).

While there are already other such guides in the market, Fuel Kaki is the first to be interactive, allowing users to compare actual spending across brands.

It provides information in a more legible format and is more user-friendly than other similar portals. It also promises to offer more timely updates.

Its strongest proposition is that it can calculate the effective price a consumer pays based on ongoing promotions and methods of payment, such as with credit cards or fuel cards.

Mr Melvin Yong, chairman of Case's consumer empowerment task force, said on Monday that while pump prices are generally transparent, the effective prices motorists eventually pay could differ widely because of various card-based or loyalty-linked promotions.

He said this initiative - which followed another launched in September called Price Kaki, comparing grocery and food prices - is "all about information availability".

He said the portal will evolve to be more user-friendly.

"We will see how useful it is to consumers," he said. "We will gather feedback and will consider other functions."

One could be an alert whenever prices are adjusted, and another could be flashing the lowest price permutation.

He said because consumers do not have available information, many fill up according to convenience or habit.

"Let's see how this will change consumer behaviour," he said.

Case said its site is supported by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) and "will give motorists access to one-stop information on retail fuel prices and promotions in Singapore and the estimated effective prices that they will be paying".

The CCCS has noted that promotion schemes offered by petrol retailers "are not easily comparable" because of differing terms and conditions.

It had recommended a comparison portal or mobile app "to improve the transparency of the effective retail petrol prices that consumers pay".

Case said its initiative has the support of ExxonMobil, which operates the Esso station network here.

Along with newcomer Sinopec, Esso's pump prices are not published, and consumers have to drive up to their stations to know the rates.

The association said it took "some persuading for Esso to come on board". Nevertheless, it added that it is "pleased to have the support of Exxon".

Case said it will "endeavour to check on such pricing and promotion information and update the website directly in a timely manner".

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