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Wellington Fuel Station - August 2023

Global diesel prices have surged significantly over the last few months. Driven largely by supply constraints, our Chart of the Month shows how this surge has led to a significant import cost premium over petrol. Elevated diesel prices will have ripple effects throughout both the global and local economies, and risk inflation remaining higher for longer. Read

Petrol station

The full fuel excise duty returned on 1 July 2023, which provisionally added 28.5c/L to the domestic price of regular petrol. However, the price of regular petrol was still 53c/L lower than this time last year, as the substantial decline in fuel prices since July 2022 means prices are sharply down even though the fuel tax is no longer discounted. Read

Handing over car keys

Demand for rental cars dried up over the COVID-19 pandemic, as tourist arrivals plummeted. With reduced demand, there was a swift decline in the size of the rental car fleet. Registrations of new rental cars have generally been trending upwards since 2021, but they still remain below pre-pandemic le... Read

EV charging station sign

Between April and December last year, Clean Car Discount fees totalled $105m and rebates totalled $203m, which means the scheme distributed nearly double the revenue it brought in. The Discount scheme was designed to be self-funding, so the gap between fees and rebates needs to be addressed. To close the funding gap, the most straightforward approach would be to either lower the level of rebates, increase the level of fees, or a combination of the two. Read

Vehicle servicing

Over the last two years, consumers have experienced high inflation across a wide range of goods and services. Car owners, and prospective buyers, are no exception, as vehicle-related prices have risen strongly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher prices for new and used cars have put pre... Read

Car scrapyard

Cyclone Gabrielle has wreaked havoc across Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, leading to the deaths of 11 people and resulting in a huge cost to the economy. This article examines the toll that Cyclone Gabrielle took on cars and commercial vehicles in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay and attempts to estimate the ext... Read

Delivery workers and van

The cost pressures on firms providing road transport services have increased substantially in the last two years, driven by a combination of higher costs for capital, fuel, and labour. The cost of transport equipment, particularly for the heavier commercial vehicles typically used for commercial roa... Read


Business investment intentions have been on a downward trajectory since early 2022. Historically, lower investment intentions have coincided with weaker commercial vehicle registrations, since vehicles are an investment decision. Investment intentions in the construction and agriculture sectors are ... Read

Oil production machinery

Fuel prices skyrocketed in early 2022 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with prices for 91 petrol and diesel increasing 26% and 74% in the first six months of the year. Petrol prices have since started to ease, but diesel prices remain stubbornly high. Read

Freight containers

International shipping costs have eased since September 2021. As shown in Chart 1, the Freightos Global Container Freight Index peaked in September 2021 at more than eight times the level it was at two years prior. The index has since declined rapidly, down 57% by September 2022. Read