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 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 appear to be around the highest point of the price cycle
  • is 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
Wed 15 Apr 15 3 Sat 18 Apr 15 16 19
Wed 04 May 15 5 Sat 09 May 15 9 14
Mon 18 May 15 6 Sun 24 May 15 8 14
Mon 01 Jun 15 5 Sat 06 Jun 15 10 15
Tue 16 Jun 15 5 Sun 21 Jun 15 8 13

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • prices are decreasing but 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 23 Feb 15

7

Mon 02 Mar 15

17

24

Thu 19 Mar 15

5

Tue 24 Mar 15

28

33

Tue 21 Apr 15

5

Sun 26 Apr 15

15 20
Mon 11 May 15 5 Sat 16 May 15 18 23
Wed 03 Jun 15 5 Mon 08 Jun 15 17 22

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:

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
Sun 01 Feb 15 28 Sun 01 Mar 15 17 45
Wed 18 Mar 15 6 Tue 24 Mar 15 26 32
Sun 19 Apr 15 6 Sat 25 Apr 15 15 21
Sun 10 May 15 7 Sun 17 May 15 15 22
Mon 01 Jun 15 7 Mon 08 Jun 15 14 21

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

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

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
Sat 31 Jan 15 39 Wed 11 Mar 15 29 68
Thu 09 Apr 15 4 Mon 13 Apr 15 21 25
Mon 04 May 15 4 Fri 08 May 15 17 21
Mon 25 May 15 3 Thu 28 May 15 14 17
Thu 11 Jun 15 3 Sat 14 Jun 15 11 14

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip

Historically Perth has had regular weekly petrol price cycles, with prices peaking on Thursday and then decreasing to a low on Wednesday.

However, in recent weeks the Perth petrol price cycle has not followed this pattern, and so the cheapest day to buy petrol is less certain. Until a more predictable pricing pattern emerges, buyers should shop around to find the cheapest price.

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
Wed 20 May 15 1 Thu 21 May 15 6 7
Wed 27 May 15 1 Thu 28 May 15 4 5
Mon 01 Jun 15 3 Thu 04 Jun 15 4 141
Mon 15 Jun 15 2 Wed 17 Jun 15 5 7
Mon 22 Jun 15 2 Tue 23 Jun 15 5 7

[1] While prices in Perth reached a low point on 8 June, the subsequent price increase was insufficient to meet the ACCC definition of a price cycle (a 3 per cent increase).

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

Tags

Audience