A proposal by the Federal Government to phase out regular unleaded petrol would result in a substantial price increase for consumers, the RACT says.

The Federal Government is considering banning regular (91RON) unleaded petrol as early as 2020 as part of plans to reduce vehicle emissions.

Executive general manager Membership & Community Stacey Pennicott said while the RACT recognised that changes may be required to protect the environment, more work needed to be done on the timing of any change to minimise impact on consumers.

“If the ban went through tomorrow, for example, motorists would be required to buy premium unleaded fuel, which would obviously cost more,” she said.

“Premium unleaded petrol costs an average 12 cents more per litre than the regular unleaded variety.

“Removing regular unleaded petrol from sale in this way simply gives consumers no choice at the petrol pump.”

Mrs Pennicott said the RACT wanted any changes to be introduced in a considered way to ensure Tasmanians had adequate time to change their lifestyle and plan for the change from a budgetary perspective.

“In addition, the average age of Tasmania’s cars was 12.2 years compared to the national average of 9.8 years,” she said.

“Owners of these older cars would be required to pay a higher price for premium unleaded petrol without any of the emission benefits.

“This means Tasmanians will be affected more than the rest of Australia, on top of the fact that we have more limited public transport options when compared with interstate jurisdictions.”

Mrs Pennicott said while the cost implications for households were a concern for the RACT, any plan to reduce vehicle emissions needed to be based on science.

She said while the RACT would continue to advocate on the issue, it would encourage its members to contact their local Federal Member of Parliament to raise the matter directly with them.