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Price Trumps Convenience in Service Station Stakes

Media Release

Price Trumps Convenience in Service Station Stakes

Challenge knocks Z Energy off top spot

Auckland, 01 July 2014, – On the same day as a three cents per lire increase in petrol excise tax hits motorists, a survey by Canstar Blue reveals that 60% of people believe that the rising cost of fuel is impacting on their quality of life.

The majority of people (64%) will even sacrifice convenience for savings when looking to refuel says Derek Bonnar, Canstar General Manager, New Zealand.

“Nearly 80% of consumers will go out of their way to visit a particular service station in order to take advantage of fuel discount dockets/schemes or price promotions, with Wellingtonians and those from Otago most likely to chase fuel bargains.”

Despite price factors some respondents still favour the full service option, with Aucklanders (35%), Gen Ys (31%) and women (35%) among those preferring to visit service stations that pump gas for their customers.

High petrol prices are driving motorists out of their cars and onto public transport in droves, says Bonnar.

“Thirty two per cent of Auckland respondents say they are using more public transport than they did a year ago. That’s up from 22 per cent last year. Gen Ys are also travelling on the train, ferry and bus lane more than ever, with public transport numbers for youth up from last year by a third**.”

Almost half of Aucklanders and people from Otago are using their cars less than they did a year ago, however, for many commuters there is simply no alternative to using the car.

“There’s no doubt that high prices are hitting motorists’ wallets hard. They’re managing their costs in in a variety of ways. More than a third of Aucklanders and Gen Ys are even considering the purchase of a different model of car, or switching to a motorbike or scooter.”

Dashing the boy racer stereotype, males have proven to be the most likely (71%) to avoid fast acceleration in order to make their fuel go further, compared to 62% of women. This is also a trend being followed by a large majority of the population (67%) in their pursuit of cheaper transport costs.

The factors that influence petrol prices remain a mystery for the majority of kiwis, with 57% not able to understand the subtleties of the market.

With a firm footprint in the South Island, nationwide brand Challenge has knocked fuel sector darling, Z Energy off its top spot, receiving 2014’s highest score for overall satisfaction.

Despite the competitive market, Gull was the only service station to receive a five star rating for price. Z Energy continues to rate highly for service, range (of other items), appearance and facilities.

“Challenge appears to have struck the right balance between price and service that is winning the respect of its customers, who have given the brand Canstar’s overall satisfaction award for 2014,” says Bonnar.

The survey asked 2,240 respondents who had refuelled a vehicle in the last month to rate prominent, New Zealand service stations across six categories:

1. Price of petrol

2. Service

3. Appearance and cleanliness of the station

4. Facilities (e.g. car wash, air pump, water buckets, windscreen cleaners)

5. Range of other items for sale (e.g. gas bottles, firewood, grocery items)

6. Overall satisfaction with the service station

About the survey

Canstar Blue commissions Research Now to regularly survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers to measure their satisfaction across a range of products and services. The outcomes reported here are the results from a survey of consumers who have refuelled a vehicle at a service station in the last 1 month, in this case, 2240 people. The survey has a margin of error +/- 2.1%

Age Groups:

Gen Y: 18-29

Gen X: 30-44

Baby Boomers: 45+

*To view the full results of the Canstar Blue survey go to:

** I am using public transport more than I did a year ago: Gen Ys: 2014 32%. 2013 24%


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