We examine patient socioeconomic status, the strength of the patient–doctor relationship and local area competition as determinants of the quality and price of GP services. We exploit a large-sample patient data set in Australia and its linkage to administrative databases. The sample contains over 260 000 patients and over 12 600 GPs, observed between 2005 and 2010. Controlling for GP fixed effects and patient health, we find no strong evidence that quality differs by patient age, gender, country of origin, health concession card status and income, but quality is increased by stronger patient–doctor relationship. Using a competition measure that is defined at the individual GP level and not restricted to a local market, we find that competition lowers quality. Price is increasing in patient income, whereas competition has a small impact on price. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.