Petrol price cycles

Petrol prices move up and down in regular patterns or cycles. The cheapest and most expensive days to buy petrol can change from cycle to cycle. Use price cycles to help you decide when to buy petrol.

Petrol price cycles in capital cities

Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth

A petrol price cycle is a movement in retail price from a low point (or trough) to a high point (or peak) to a subsequent low point. In these cycles, prices steadily go down for a period followed by a sharp increase.

Price cycles are the result of deliberate pricing policies of petrol retailers, and are not directly related to changes in wholesale costs.

The duration of petrol price cycles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide varies from cycle to cycle, and has increased in recent years. In 2015 to date, price cycle durations in these cities have ranged from a low of 13 days to a high of 67 days. The petrol price cycle duration in Perth is generally seven days.

Disclaimer

Historical data can only give an indication of the cheapest and most expensive days to buy petrol in the future, so consumers should use this information as a general guide only.

The charts are updated daily from Monday to Friday at around midday, and show average daily prices for the last 45 days. Updates on Mondays include prices for the preceding Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Buying tips are usually updated around midday on Monday, Wednesday and Friday

The buying tips may not always seem apparent from the charts. This is because the charts show historical prices.

The charts show average daily regular unleaded petrol for all cities except Sydney, which shows E10 prices.

Petrol prices in Sydney

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • prices appear to be around the highest point of the price cycle

  • if possible, motorists should avoid buying petrol at this time.

The chart below shows daily average E10 petrol prices in Sydney over the past 45 days.

Daily average E10 petrol prices in Sydney over the past 45 days
Source: FUELtrac

Information on the past five price cycles in Sydney is shown below:

First day of cycle (low price) No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to next cycle (next low price) Total days in cycle
Tue 06 Sep 16 7 Sat 10 Sep 16 11 15
Tue 21 Sep 16 4 Sun 25 Sep 16 16 20
Tue 11 Oct 16 4 Sun 15 Oct 16 13 17
Fri 28 Oct 16 4 Tue 01 Nov 16 22 26
Wed 23 Nov 16 3 Sat 26 Nov 16 4 7

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • prices are decreasing but they are likely to decrease further
  • if possible, motorists should delay buying petrol until later.

The chart below shows daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Melbourne over the past 45 days.

Daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Melbourne over the past 45 days.
Source: FUELtrac

Information on the past five price cycles in Melbourne is shown below:

First day of cycle (low price) No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to next cycle (next low price) Total days in cycle
Mon 04 May 16 5

Mon 09 May 16

21 26
Mon 30 May 16 4

Fri 03 Jun 16

46 50
Tue 19 Jul 16 5

Sun 24 Jul 16

35 40
Sun 28 Aug 16 3 Wed 31 Aug 16 31 34
Sat 01 Oct 16 2 Mon 03 Oct 16 37 39

Petrol prices in Brisbane

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • prices appear to be around the lowest point of the price cycle

  • now is a good time for motorists to buy petrol.

The chart below shows daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Brisbane over the past 45 days.

Daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Brisbane over the past 45 days.
Source: FUELtrac

Information on the past five price cycles in Brisbane is shown below:

First day of cycle (low price) No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to next cycle (next low price) Total days in cycle
Wed 04 May 16 5

Mon 09 May 16

20

25

Sun 29 May 16

6

Sat 04 Jun 16

45

51

Tue 19 Jul 16

5

Sun 24 Jul 16

36

41

Mon 29 Aug 16

4

Fri 02 Sep 16

30

34

Sun 02 Oct 16

5

Fri 07 Oct 16

26

31

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • prices appear to be around the highest point of the price cycle 

  • if possible, motorists should avoid buying petrol at this time.

The chart below shows daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Adelaide over the past 45 days.

Daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Adelaide over the past 45 days.
Source: FUELtrac

Information on the past five price cycles in Adelaide is shown below:

First day of the cycle (low price) No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to next cycle (next low price) Total days in cycle
Wed 29 Jun 16 5 Mon 04 Jul 16 35 40
Mon 08 Aug 16 4 Fri 12 Aug 16 32 36
Tue 13 Sep 16 4 Sat 17 Sep 16 26 30
Thu 13 Oct 16 3 Sun 16 Oct 16 16 19
Tue 01 Nov 16 5 Sun 06 Nov 16 15 30

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip

Perth currently has regular weekly petrol price cycles, with prices generally peaking on Tuesday and then decreasing to a low on Monday.

The chart below shows average daily regular unleaded petrol prices in Perth over the past 45 days.

Daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Perth over the past 45 days.
Source: FUELtrac

Information on the past five price cycles in Perth is shown below:

First day of the cycle (low price) No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to next cycle (next low price) Total days in cycle
Mon 24 Oct 16 1 Tue 25 Oct 16 6 7
Mon 31 Oct 16 1 Tue 01 Nov 16 6 7
Mon 07 Nov 16 1 Tue 08 Nov 16 6 7
Mon 14 Nov 16 1 Tue 15 Nov 16 6 7
Mon 21 Nov 16 1 Tue 22 Nov 16 6 7

If you have information that a fuel retailer is not competing fairly

Contact the ACCC

More information

Petrol, diesel and LPG
Monitoring of the Australian petroleum industry - reports

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