What the ACCC does

  • We monitor petrol price cycles in Australia’s major cities.
  • We provide buying tips for consumers as a guide.
  • We take reports of anti-competitive behaviour in the fuel industry.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t set or control Australian fuel prices or price cycles.
  • We don’t resolve individual complaints.

On this page

ACCC monitoring fuel prices following global events

We are monitoring retail fuel prices closely as international crude oil prices react to the conflict in the Middle East.

Retail fuel prices in Australia are largely determined by:

  • global factors influencing international crude oil and refined fuel prices
  • the value of the Australian-US dollar exchange rate.

Local factors also affect retail prices.

We publish charts on the state of retail petrol price cycles in Australia's 5 largest cities. We also update consumer buying tips 3 times a week for these cities.

Consumers can also use fuel price apps and websites to compare and find lower priced fuel.

Our latest quarterly monitoring report, released on 19 March, reports on international influences on Australian fuel prices in 2023. 

Petrol price cycles affect the price of petrol

How petrol price cycles work

Petrol prices move up and down in regular patterns in Australia's largest capital cities. Petrol prices steadily decrease for a period followed by a sharper increase.

This pattern is also known as a petrol price cycle. It is a movement in the retail price from a low point (or trough) to a high point (or peak) to the following low point. Petrol price cycles do not occur in Canberra, Hobart and Darwin.

Petrol price cycles are the result of pricing policies of petrol retailers and not from changes in the wholesale cost of fuel.

The buying tips below are for regular unleaded petrol prices in Australia's 5 largest cities that have petrol price cycles. The buying tips are also applicable to premium unleaded 95, premium unleaded 98 and E10, as prices of all grades of petrol tend to move in a similar way.

Retail diesel prices do not move in cycles.

How long price cycles last

The duration of each petrol price cycle varies from cycle to cycle and by location.

The length of price cycles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth has varied between city and over time.

In 2022 the average duration of price cycles in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane was around 5 weeks, and in Adelaide it was just over 2 weeks. Perth currently has regular weekly price cycles.

Petrol buying tips and charts

You can use petrol price cycles to help you decide when to buy petrol in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. We provide buying tips for each major city.

We update:

  • buying tips on weekdays (at least Monday, Wednesday and Friday) around midday
  • historical data on price cycles as necessary.

You should use this information as a guide only. The duration of each petrol price cycle varies from cycle to cycle and by location. Historical data can only indicate or suggest the cheapest and most expensive days to buy petrol in the future.

Petrol prices in Sydney

Buying tip (updated on Monday):

  • prices are increasing
  • if motorists shop around, they may find some retailers that have not yet increased prices.

This chart shows daily average regular unleaded petrol prices in Sydney over the past 45 days.

Source: Informed Sources.

Information on the past 5 price cycles in Sydney is shown in this table:

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 01 Aug 23 10 Fri 11 Aug 23 25 35
Tue 05 Sep 23 10 Fri 15 Sep 23 39 49
Tue 24 Oct 23 11 Sat 04 Nov 23 29 40
Sun 03 Dec 23 17 Wed 20 Dec 23 31 48
Sat 20 Jan 24 14 Sat 03 Feb 24 17 31

Source: ACCC calculations based on data from Informed Sources.

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated on Monday):

  • prices are increasing

  • if motorists shop around, they may find some retailers that have not yet increased prices.

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

Source: Informed Sources.

Information on the past 5 price cycles in Melbourne is shown in this table:

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 07 Aug 23 9 Wed 16 Aug 23 26 35
Mon 11 Sep 23 11 Fri 22 Sep 23 40 51
Wed 01 Nov 23 12 Mon 13 Nov 23 29 41
Tue 12 Dec 23 13 Mon 25 Dec 23 28 41
Mon 22 Jan 24 14 Mon 05 Feb 24 28 42

Source: ACCC calculations based on data from Informed Sources.

Petrol prices in Brisbane

Buying tip (updated on Monday):

  • prices are increasing
  • if motorists shop around, they may find some retailers that have not yet increased prices.

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

Source: Informed Sources.

Information on the past 5 price cycles in Brisbane is shown in this table:

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 10 Jul 23 8 Tue 18 Jul 23 25 33
Sat 12 Aug 23 11 Wed 23 Aug 23 32 43
Sun 24 Sep 23 10 Wed 04 Oct 23 36 46
Thu 09 Nov 23 15 Fri 24 Nov 23 39 54
Tue 02 Jan 24 20 Mon 22 Jan 24 34 54

Source: ACCC calculations based on data from Informed Sources.

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated on Monday):

  • prices appear to be around the lowest point of the cycle
  • now is a good time for motorists to buy petrol.

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

Source: Informed Sources.

Information on the past 5 price cycles in Adelaide is shown in this table:

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
Tue 12 Dec 23 5 Sun 17 Dec 23 18 23
Thu 04 Jan 24 5 Tue 09 Jan 24 9 14
Thu 18 Jan 24 5 Tue 23 Jan 24 15 20
Wed 07 Feb 24 6 Tue 13 Feb 24 11 17
Sat 24 Feb 24 6 Fri 01 Mar 24 12 18

Source: ACCC calculations based on data from Informed Sources.

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip (updated on Monday):

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

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

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

Source: Informed Sources.

Information on the past 5 price cycles in Perth is shown in this table:

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 Feb 24 1 Wed 07 Feb 24 6 7
Tue 13 Feb 24 1 Wed 14 Feb 24 6 7
Tue 20 Feb 24 1 Wed 21 Feb 24 6 7
Tue 27 Feb 24 1 Wed 28 Feb 24 6 7
Tue 05 Mar 24 1 Wed 06 Mar 24 6 7

Source: ACCC calculations based on data from Informed Sources.

Monitoring fuel prices following the excise cut and restoration

The ACCC closely monitored fuel prices following the Federal Budget reduction in fuel excise from 30 March to 28 September 2022. Results of our monitoring were described in the March 2022, June 2022 and September 2022 quarterly petrol reports.

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