More service stations in Ballarat has led to more competition, which has kept fuel price increases lower compared to Melbourne, a local operator says.
Ballarat's average price of fuel over the past six months has been the lowest in Victoria, according to an RACV survey.
The cheapest places to buy petrol in Victoria in the six months to August 1 were Ballarat, with an average price of $1.317 cents per litre for unleaded petrol, Benalla ($1.328) and Bendigo ($1.344), an RACV press release notes.
Over the past 12 months, Ballarat was the second cheapest place in the state to buy fuel, at $137.5c, with Benalla just in front at 131.7c.
This is cheaper than the least expensive metropolitan suburb, with the 12 month average price of unleaded fuel in Maidstone at 137.9c.
The RACV surveyed 161 service stations in 27 regional towns and cities, including Ararat, Ballarat, Colac, Horsham, and Warrnambool in western Victoria - Ararat was amongst the highest, at 150.9c.
The organisation's public policy general manager, Bryce Prosser, said in a statement prices were continually monitored through a third party provider, which receives data directly from fuel retailers.
"As we have been doing this for a number of years, we can analyse historical data to advise motorists on when to top up or fill up depending on the price cycle," he said.
"Even the smallest increase can really affect household budgets and we've found that regular searches for the cheapest fuel can save motorists hundreds of dollars per year."
The average price of fuel in Ballarat has increased slightly year-by-year, just slightly in front of the consumer price index, while the five year average is 128.7 cents per litre - this is below Melbourne's, which is at 130.3c.
Brent Marshall owns an independent service station on Skipton Street, and said he's not surprised by the data.
"In the last few years there's been a resurgence of independent operators in the Ballarat market, which results in increased competition," he said.
"Even though it does spike up and down, as an average, it's not any more expensive than it was 10 years ago, and you can't say that about utility and grocery prices."
While fuel is still a major expense for many people, Mr Marshall said it was interesting to see how trends changed over time.
"There's been a big focus on LPG, that's almost disappeared from the market, there are no manufacturers that make dedicated vehicles," he said.
"We're going to see electric vehicles ... but we won't have the infrastructure (as capital cities)."
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