Petrol is like blood to the vehicle – quality refined petrol is the main essential for the health and working of the engine. However, fuel must also fit your budget; no one wants to pay a fortune to fill up the vehicle. Yet, cheap or bad quality petrol can mess up your engine, that’s why we have strict control of fuel in New Zealand, and our gas stations provide top-quality products.
New Zealand is a major oil refining country with leading petrol stations like Mobil, Z, Caltex, BP, NPD, Waitomo, Gull, Challenge, and more. Caltex and BP remain the most popular choices. NPD won Canstar Blues Most Satisfied Customers award with the highest ratings given by customers.
Price is important when choosing a gas station, but it’s not everything. Here I am going to look into New Zealand’s best petrol stations. Together let’s explore which brands are Kiwi’s favorites and why. That involves all the details from services, space, location, ratings, prices, and ambiance of petrol stations in New Zealand.
If you want to find a petrol station with the cheapest prices, check out Gaspy, their app shows exactly this. In the winter of 2023, gas prices have increased significantly and even 91 now costs at least $2,91 per liter.
Guide to petrol stations in New Zealand
If you are new in New Zealand and own a car, it’s good to know more about where you are getting your fuel from. Unfortunately, New Zealand isn’t the most affordable place to drive a car as petrol prices are pretty high.
Fuel prices have soared on the back of rising oil prices and supply chain issues. As demand for fuel is relatively inelastic, rising prices correlate with the industry’s revenue growth.
If we talk about the price, the prices vary from town to town, not by brand. Most petrol pumps may give a voucher at a particular chain of petrol stations, usually 6 cents off for a $40 or similar spend, this discount may increase based on how much you spend. If you have an Airpoint or Countdown card, you can get 6 cents off with some fuel providers.
A better pick is to get a membership card from Caltex or BP, which gives 6 cents off for a $40 spend – the discounts can even be accumulated. For instance, 10 purchases may give you 60 cents off, which can be used to buy almost 50 liters.
Few small towns and cities have comparatively cheaper fuel than other big cities. Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua are two such examples in North Island.
It’s not recommended to go out of your way to search for lower prices, but if you keep track of the prices of different fuel stations, you can decide what is best and most affordable. You can search for the cheapest offers on Gaspy.
Even within a city, there can be a wide variation in petrol prices. For instance, across Auckland, West Auckland is consistently cheaper; and there is an area in Albany that is consistently cheaper.
Gull service stations regularly offer lower prices, even just for a few hours or a day. It’s said that prices are often lower on a Thursday too!
Currently, New Zealand has up to 15 large and small operators in the fuel retail market, which gives consumers a good choice. Among them, Caltex, BP, Mobil, and Z Energy are the large players as they sell up to 80% of the fuel products in New Zealand.
There are few smaller operators that serve specific customers like farmers and remote areas like tourist destinations. Collectively there are almost around 1,200 fuel stations that are accessible to the public. The fuel volume sold in New Zealand is nearly 6 billion liters annually.
Petrol stations in New Zealand
Currently, New Zealand has up to fifteen large and small operators in the fuel retail market; this gives consumers a good choice. Among them, BP, Mobil, and Z Energy are the large players as they sell up to 80% of the fuel products in New Zealand.
According to the Canstar Blues rating, NPD is the top-rated fuel station with a 5-star rating; next comes Waitomo and Gull with 4-star ratings; after that, we have Caltex, Challenge, Mobil, and BP with 3-star ratings. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with this positioning, but there are many factors that play in.
Here are more details on some of the best and most popular fuel stations in New Zealand. I also reveal which one of them is my preferred petrol station.
1. NPD Fuel
NPD ranks as the best gas station in New Zealand and is preferred among Kiwis. The company has been in business for over 50 years with strong roots in Nelson and throughout the North and South Island. Overall, they have about 85 stations across New Zealand.
NPD is a fuel card provider for NPD Mobilcard and markets its own NPD fuel card with a vast network of customers of over 4,000 users on NPD cards alone. NPD offers different types of promotional discounts like Super Gold cards, Super Market Dockets, Student and Perks discounts, and much more.
Their fuel stations offer:
- All fuel products: 91, 95, 100, diesel, AdBlue
- 100 plus high Octane petrol
- Refresh Café – snacks and drinks
- Fuel Cards
- Ad Blue
- Car Wash
Their signature Southern Crunch Chicken & Southern Crunch Burger is something you should try! In addition, you will find an extensive menu of meals at their Refresh Cafés. Refresh Cafés are available in:
Bp is a British oil and gas company with a large number of gas stations in New Zealand. They have over 200 stores only in NZ alone. Bp also ranks highly in terms of convenience with its tasty snack & coffee, plus a variety of drinks, groceries, and magazines. Their petrol stations are very stylish, too; just look at the picture.
Bp gas stations are generally divided into bp Connect and bp 2go, where the latter has smaller facilities.
Services bp Connect stations provide:
- Range of fuels, lubricants, automotive supplies, and carwash
- Drinks and food
- Range of grocery items
- Sitting options
- Free Wi-Fi on selected sites
- Ultimate 98
- Ultimate Diesel
Bp 2go is owned by bp, and there are approximately 100 stores throughout New Zealand. Bp 2go also services branded convenience foods, groceries, and coffee.
3. Z Energy
Z Energy, also known as Z, has been my favorite service station in New Zealand. Not sure what I appreciate more – convenient payment methods, 6 cents off the fuel with an Airpoint card, or the delicious coffee! In fact, you can even pre-order your coffee if in a hurry.
Z Energy and Caltex are operated by one company. I also like Caltex a lot. They have 203 petrol stations across the country.
Z Energy has over 289 stations and about 160 truck stops across New Zealand, and here are the services they offer:
- Charge of electric vehicles
- Car wash
- Food and drinks (great coffee)
- Engine oils
- Gift cards
Waitomo is Kiwi owned and operated fuel supplier. It was founded back in 1947 and is now one of the main independent fuel providers in New Zealand. Not surprisingly, Waitomo started their fuel by serving the Waitomo region. Yet, it’s still a relatively small provider, with a 4% market share in NZ.
Waitomo has over 75 stations in the Waitomo network stretching from Paihia north to Dunedin south. They offer:
- Unleaded 91
- Premium 95
- Car wash
- EV charging
In areas where Waitomo operate, they offer much-needed competition and choice in the market. For example, due to Waitomo’s entry in Wellington, prices have dropped by up to 20 cents per liter. That savings go directly back into Kiwi pockets and the local economy.
Gull is a smaller fuel retailer launched in 1998, with its first terminal in Mount Maunganui, on the North Island’s central East Coast. This terminal was the biggest, with a total storage capacity of 90 million liters.
Gull has grown its network to over 115 fuel stations around New Zealand, with the Gull Norton Road appearing as the North Island site in the year 1999. On South Island, the first station was established twenty years later, in 2019. Now Gull sells over 500 mega liters of fuel every year; it represents approximately 8% market share of New Zealand’s liquid fuel volumes.
Gull is one of the preferred fuel providers among Kiwis primarily because of low prices and regular discounts. Gull often announces their discount days where you can get 15 cents off per liter, for example. Check out their FB group.
Gull stations provide:
- Regular 91
- Premium 95
- Force 10 Biofuel
- Terminal gate pricing and
- Safety data sheets
Mobil is New Zealand’s oldest oil company, and the year of establishment dates back to 1896.
With a nationwide network of about 170 Mobil-branded sites, approximately 121 are owned or leased by Mobil. In addition, it provides fuel to more than 150 non-branded facilities. Mobil also supplies fuel to over 150 unbranded sites.
In addition, Mobil produces motor oils, including car engine oils, heavy-duty diesel engine oils, and industrial lubricants.
Being a 17.2% shareholder in The New Zealand Refining Company Limited, it used to operate the famous Marsden Point refinery in Whangarei, a major supplier to the New Zealand retail market in Auckland.
Mobil offers the following services:
- Fuel: 91, 95, 98, diesel
- Coffee and food
- Car wash
Best petrol stations in New Zealand
After all this discussion, we have come to know that as per a research survey of Canstar Blues, NDP Fuel might be one of the best petrol stations in New Zealand. NPD has been in business for over 50 years with strong roots in Nelson and throughout the North and South Island.
Nonetheless, most Kiwis prefer these top 4 names: Caltex, BP, Z, and Mobil. These are trusted and convenient fuel providers in every household, and most Kiwis have loyalty cards/membership cards for these petrol stations.