AA urges Kiwis to fill up gas tanks early as Government's fuel subsidy set to expire

Kiwis are being urged to fill up their fuel tanks early this week to avoid a mad rush as the Government's fuel subsidy is set to expire.

The average fuel price across New Zealand for unleaded 91 is $2.35, diesel $1.87, unleaded 95 $2.55 and unleaded 98 $2.68, according to Gaspy. 

AA urges Kiwis to fill up gas tanks early as Government's fuel subsidy set to expire
Photo credit: AM

But those prices are about to skyrocket with the fuel subsidy set to expire on Friday, meaning Kiwis will pay around 25 cents more for fuel. 

The Automobile Association (AA) said by the time GST is added, reinstating the tax will add nearly 29 cents per litre to petrol prices from July 1 or soon after.

AA principal policy advisor Terry Collins told AM on Monday he has one piece of advice Kiwis really need to follow. 

"Our key advice is to fill up early this week, don't wait till the end of the week. We've seen in Australia and in other places where they put these duties back on, that people leave it for the last couple of days," Collins told AM co-host Ryan Bridge. 

"We have queues going out through the forecourts and in some cases, the service stations run dry. So avail yourself with the opportunity to fill up sometime this week, but don't leave it too late."

Collins suspects fuel companies around New Zealand will offer specials on Wednesday to entice customers. 

"I think during this week a number of the oil companies will be offering discounted fuel, knowing a lot of people will be going out this week to buy, to top up their tanks and so they'll be trying to capture a bit of that market," he said. 

The rise in fuel prices in New Zealand comes as Russia is in the middle of an internal crisis.

Russia is one of the major fuel suppliers in the world and with the ongoing crisis, it could have an impact on petrol prices. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an emergency televised address on Saturday night (NZ time) after the chief of the rebel Russian mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, launched an armed rebellion and marched his fighters toward Moscow, taking control of Russian military facilities along the way.

Prigozhin openly accused Russia's military of attacking a Wagner camp and killing a "huge amount" of his men. 

But on Sunday, Prigozhin said his fighters were heading to neighbouring Belarus and Wagner was turning back from their march.

Collins told AM he's "uncertain" about Russia but suspects prices could slightly increase because of the uncertainty.

"Any time there's internal conflict within one of the largest oil supplies, it puts a bit of a scare in the market. When the markets open this morning, I expect to see some prices go up a little bit as a bit of a risk premium comes in," Collins explained. 

"But I do see the markets initially just going up a little bit and then everybody sitting back and seeing what happens. I'm just waiting to see what the outcome of this event in Russia will be." 

Watch the full interview with Terry Collins in the video above.