Queenslander’s might soon be forced to pay for their fuel before they fill up at the pump.

The move comes after police statistics revealed nearly 12,000 petrol drive-offs occurred across the state last year, double the previous year.

Lauren Crome reports.


With an average tank of fuel worth around $100, CCTV cameras are catching a growing number of people filling their tanks and simply driving off without paying.

The state’s drive-off hot spots include the Gold Coast and Logan, followed by north Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

And despite many businesses installing the most up-to-date surveillance equipment, culprits are still getting away.

Michael Carr, Motor Trades Association:”We don’t know the exact statistics but obviously some drive-offs are with stolen plates. Some cars even come and go and they’ve got a different number on the front than what they did on the back.”

Overseas, fuel theft has already prompted a pay-before-you-fill policy.

But motorists here are giving that, the thumbs down.

Vox 1:”I think that it’s not right, like the customer service is taken away. I feel that you know, people need to go in and talk to and interact with people.”

Vox 2:”Sometimes I’m picking up other goods, so if I need to get some milk or something like that then I can do it all at the same time.”

Service station owners worry the move, would deter customers and the cost would be prohibitive.

Michael Carr, Motor Trades Association:”We work on a very low margin for fuel and we rely on the customers coming into the shop and making shop purchases. If we have the pre-paid then we would lose a percentage of shop sales.”

And if the cost of petrol isn’t already high enough for consumers, motorists will have to fork out even more for their car registration, if they choose to pay with a credit card from July next year.

Lauren Crome, QUT News.