Petrol price cycles in major cities

  • Petrol prices move up and down in regular patterns in Australia’s major cities.
  • Petrol price cycles are the result of deliberate pricing policies of petrol retailers.

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.

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

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 charts and buying tips for each major city.

We update:

  • charts daily from Monday to Friday around midday and show average daily prices for the last 45 days. Updates on Mondays include prices for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before.
  • buying tips on weekdays (at least Monday, Wednesday and Friday) around midday. The buying tips may not always be obvious from the charts. This is because the charts show historical prices.

Petrol price buying tips for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth

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.

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 2021–22, the average duration of price cycles in Sydney was around 6 weeks, in Melbourne and Brisbane it was around 5 weeks and in Adelaide it was just over 2 weeks. Perth currently has regular weekly price cycles.

Petrol prices in Sydney

Buying tip (updated on Wednesday):

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

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

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

Information on the past 5 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 11 May 22 11 Sun 22 May 22 18 29
Thu 09 Jun 22 11 Mon 20 Jun 22 51 62
Wed 10 Aug 22 14 Wed 24 Aug 22 19 33
Mon 12 Sep 22 15 Tue 27 Sep 22 23 38
Thu 20 Oct 22 17 Sun 06 Nov 22 35 52

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated on Wednesday):

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

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
Thu 02 Jun 22 11 Mon 13 Jun 22 15 26
Tue 28 Jun 22 9 Thu 07 Jul 22 36 45
Fri 12 Aug 22 11 Tue 23 Aug 22 20 31
Mon 12 Sep 22 13 Sun 25 Sep 22 23 36
Tue 18 Oct 22 17 Fri 04 Nov 22 39 56

Petrol prices in Brisbane

Buying tip (updated on Wednesday):

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

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
Tue 10 May 22 10 Fri 20 May 22 20 30
Thu 09 Jun 22 11 Mon 20 Jun 22 49 60
Mon 08 Aug 22 13 Sun 21 Aug 22 22 35
Mon 12 Sept 22 14 Mon 26 Sep 22 23 37
Wed 19 Oct 22 19 Mon 07 Nov 22 35 54

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated on Wednesday):

  • prices are decreasing but they are likely to decrease further
  • motorists looking to buy petrol can shop around for the lowest prices.

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 21 Sep 22 8 Thu 29 Sep 22 14 22
Thu 13 Oct 22 4 Mon 17 Oct 22 6 10
Sun 23 Oct 22 3 Wed 26 Oct 22 8 11
Thu 03 Nov 22 7 Thu 10 Nov 22 11 18
Mon 21 Nov 22 6 Sun 27 Nov 22 11 17

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip (updated on Wednesday):

  • while the price cycle is around a high point, we encourage motorists to use fuel price apps and websites to find lower priced retailers.

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 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 08 Nov 22 1 Wed 09 Nov 22 6 7
Tue 15 Nov 22 1 Wed 16 Nov 22 6 7
Tue 22 Nov 22 1 Wed 23 Nov 22 6 7
Tue 29 Nov 22 1 Wed 30 Nov 22 6 7
Tue 06 Dec 22 1 Wed 07 Dec 22 6 7

See also

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.

What affects fuel prices

Fuel prices in regional locations

What the ACCC does in fuel monitoring

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