After three reductions in fuel prices at refineries in two months, drivers began to do research at service stations in Campinas in search of the lowest prices. The variation found is the biggest this year: the difference in gasoline from one station to another reaches 30%, which is equivalent to R$ 1.40 per liter. A survey carried out by Popular Mail identified ten different values practiced by gas stations, with the lowest at R$ 4.59, the same level practiced in February 2021, and the highest at R$ 5.99.
At the end of June, before the price drops caused by the reduction of the tax burden on fuel, the difference in the value of gasoline was 14.25%. The oil derivative was sold between R$ 6.29 and R$ 7.19 in the city. “I usually research because there is a lot of difference, but always looking for quality. Not always the cheapest pays off and not the most expensive is the best”, said school monitor Vitória Camões, when filling up yesterday.
The reduction in the table made even flagged stations sell gasoline below R$ 5 a liter, as in an establishment in Vila Industrial, where it is sold at R$ 4.89.
This variation ends up benefiting the consumer, who gains from the competition between the gas stations. App driver Kleber Gomes dos Santos, who lives in the Campo Grande District, seeks to balance lower value with quality. He always tries to fill up where he already knows and at the station that is on the route he normally takes, opting for the best offer.
Santos does not insist that the establishment is part of a distribution network, as long as it has previously supplied. “This is a station where I’ve been supplying for years and I’ve never had any problems,” he said. The delivery driver Josiel Mariano always opts for the lowest price. “Where I have the lowest price, I supply”, he explains.
If driving small distances, the driver can already guarantee economy. Two stations on the same network, only 300 meters apart, work with gasoline with a difference of 17.69%. The establishment on Avenida Brasil, in Jardim Guanabara, sells the liter for R$5.09, while the one located on Avenida Orosimbo Maia, in Vila Itapura, sells for R$5.99. The difference of R$ 0.90 per liter results in savings of R$ 45 when filling the tank of a compact hatch car, for example.
Consumers should also be aware of constant price changes. Two stations, in Chácara Primavera and Parque Taquaral, worked with three different prices within a week. On the 22nd, they sold gasoline at R$5.39, which then had successive reductions of R$0.10. Now, they sell at R$ 5.09. Ethanol followed the reduction, falling from R$3.89 to R$3.59.
Accountant Américo Santana Pena says that he refueled his car with ethanol after the value also dropped. “Now, it is again advantageous to run on ethanol”, he says. He filled up at an establishment where the sugarcane derivative is sold at R$3.19, against R$4.69 for gasoline. But ethanol is not always advantageous, as it depends on the prices charged by the gas station.
To begin with, to be advantageous, ethanol needs to cost no more than 70% of the price of gasoline. At a gas station in the Center, which costs R$ 3.43 for alcohol and R$ 4.79 for gasoline, the national biofuel is not worth it.
In Campinas, the municipal legislation helps the consumer to make the comparison without having to resort to the use of the calculator when filling up. Law No. 14,105, of July 2011, obliges gas stations to inform in a visible place the percentage difference between gasoline and ethanol. Typically, the information board is next to the pumps or at the bottom of the fuel price board.
Biofuel also has a large price variation in Campinas. It can be found between R$ 3.09 and R$ 4.29, a difference of R$ 1.20 per liter, equivalent to 38.83%.
Increase in sales and care
The manager of an establishment in the Center, Artur dos Reis Santos, estimates that there has been an increase in fuel sales between 20% and 30%, since the beginning of the price reduction. “Currently, demand for gasoline and ethanol is half and half,” he says.
Tradesman Luiz Antônio Guimarães admits that he started to use the car more, but considers that fuel is still very expensive. “You can’t abuse it, because the prices of food and other products have not dropped and there is less and less money left in your pocket”, he justifies.
Consumers should be aware of promotions made by some establishments on certain fixed days of the week. The campaign is advertised ostensibly on banners and signs, with unsuspecting drivers able to be attracted by the value without realizing the date for which the lower prices are valid.
“The Consumer Protection Code guarantees, regardless of the form or means of communication used, that the information in the offers and their respective advertisements for products, services and goods must be correct, precise and clear. If the establishment is complying, there is nothing for the customer to complain”, explains the lawyer specialized in consumer protection Luiz Francisco Paiva Campos Ferreira.
While car owners benefit from the fuel drop, truck drivers complain about the value of diesel fuel. On August 5th, Petrobras reduced by R$ 0.20 a liter of this oil derivative in refineries, with the average price falling from R$ 7.05 to R$ 6.93 this week, according to the National Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP). Even so, the fuel accumulates a high of 39.5% this year alone. In the last 12 months, the increase is 61.9%.
“Depending on the freight, it doesn’t pay off because we end up standing still for several days until we find another load to return,” complains truck driver Adaílson Negresoli. “It’s not just diesel that is expensive. The tire is going up, maintenance. There will come a point where we will no longer be able to continue riding”, he adds.
Not even the release of the aid of six installments of R$ 1 thousand by the federal government relieved the situation of truck drivers. The benefit began to be paid this month and runs until December. “This amount of R$ 1 thousand makes no difference for those who work in road transport”, criticizes truck driver Wellington Batista Procópio. He explains that just the supply of a trailer costs around R$ 4,800, which will cover up to 1,750 kilometers.
Of the nearly 900,000 workers eligible for the benefit estimated by the federal government, only 190,000 received this month. “We still haven’t been able to clearly understand the criteria for who is eligible to receive the aid. In theory, the government says one thing, but in practice it is another”, criticizes the president of the National Transport Association of Brazil (ANTB), José Roberto Stringasci.
The Ministry of Labor justified that the decrease in the number of users of the program happened because of a fine-tooth comb carried out in recent days. With that, the government cut the benefit of thousands of truck drivers who would have outdated registration in the system of the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT).