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

Price cycles occur in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. They do not occur in the other capital cities (Canberra, Hobart or Darwin) or in most regional locations.

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 2014 to date, the average price cycle duration in these cities has ranged from a low of 13 days to a high of 43 days. The petrol price cycle duration in Perth is 7 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 are decreasing, but they are likely to decrease further
  • if possible, motorists should delay buying petrol until later.

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:

Date of lowest price in the cycle No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to lowest price in the cycle Price cycle duration
Mon 08 Sep 14 12 Sat 20 Sep 14 22 34
Sun 12 Oct 14 7 Sun 19 Oct 14 21 28
Sun 09 Nov 14 11 Thu 20 Nov 14 73 84
Sun 01 Feb 15 6 Sat 07 Feb 15 9 15
Tue 17 Feb 15 12 Sun 01 Mar 15 18 30

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:

Date of lowest price in the cycle No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to lowest price in the cycle Price cycle duration
Wed 06 Aug 14 5 Mon 11 Aug 14 27 32
Sun 07 Sep 14 14 Sun 21 Sep 14 18 32
Thu 09 Oct 14 9 Sat 18 Oct 14 106 115
Sun 01 Feb 15 8 Mon 09 Feb 15 14 22
Sun 22 Feb 15 8 Mon 02 Mar 15 17 25

Petrol prices in Brisbane

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 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:

Date of lowest price in the cycle No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to lowest price in the cycle Price cycle duration
Tue 05 Aug 14 5 Sun 10 Aug 14 24 29
Wed 03 Sep 14 10 Sat 13 Sep 14 25 35
Wed 08 Oct 14 10 Sat 18 Oct 14 24 34
Tue 11 Nov 14 9 Thu 20 Nov 14 72 81
Sun 01 Feb 15 28 Sun 01 Mar 15 17 45

Petrol prices in Adelaide

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 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:

Date of lowest price in the cycle No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to lowest price in the cycle Price cycle duration
Tue 08 Jul 14 3 Fri 11 Jun 14 13 16
Thu 24 Jul 14 2 Sat 26 Jul 14 32 34
Wed 27 Aug 14 8 Thu 04 Sep 14 24 32
Sun 28 Sep 14 3 Wed 01 Oct 40 43
Mon 10 Nov 14 11 Fri 21 Nov 14 72 83

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip

Perth has regular weekly petrol price cycles, with prices peaking on Thursday and then decreasing to a low on Wednesday. Therefore, Tuesday and Wednesday are generally the best days to buy, though a minority of retailers may offer their lowest price on Thursday.

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:

Date of lowest price in the cycle No. of days to highest price in the cycle Date of highest price in the cycle Days to lowest price in the cycle Price cycle duration
Wed 18 Feb 15 1 Thu 19 Feb 15 6 7
Wed 25 Feb 15 1 Thu 26 Feb 15 6 7
Wed 04 Mar 15 1 Thu 05 Mar 15 6 7
Wed 11 Mar 15 1 Thu 12 Mar 15 6 7
Wed 18 Mar 15 1 Thu 19 Mar 15 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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