Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Petrol theft costs $12m, says VACC
Article from Drive.com.au
Drive-off petrol theft is costing Victorian service station operators more than $12 million a year, according to the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce. Station owner Arthur Nestor thinks up to $500 of petrol a week is being stolen from his service station alone.
To combat the theft, Mr Nestor (pictured) has installed a pre-pay system at some of his high-risk bowsers, but with an incentive. Motorists who pay before they fill up get a cent a litre discount.Good idea I reckon.
"I'm rewarding consumers who are using those bowsers by saving them a cent a litre," said Mr Nestor, one of about 30 station owners testing pre-pay statewide. "That's rewarding someone for their inconvenience, because I reckon that's what it is costing me in theft."
Mr Nestor's station, on the corner of Bay Road and Nepean Highway opposite Southland shopping centre, is a prime target for drive-off thefts, with quick access on to the busy road. Sometimes it is a car driver stealing fuel worth $10. Other times a diesel truck will steal a tankful worth $250.
Mr Nestor says the pre-pay system – which operates 24 hours a day at his station – has cut theft by almost 80 percent. Most of his regular customers now queue for the pre-pay bowsers to get the discount.
The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and Victoria Police have conducted a trial of pre-pay petrol since December during the high-risk hours between 8pm and 6am. It follows similar trials in South Australia and New South Wales.
The chamber's executive director, David Purchase, says the pre-pay system is used around the world. Once it is explained to motorists they are willing to change their buying patterns, he says.
The RACV opposes the prepay system as an inconvenience to motorists. Government relations manager David Cumming, said drive-offs were a financial burden only for independent service station owners – franchised stations were reimbursed for losses.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.