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.

ACCC monitoring following the cut and reintroduction in fuel excise

The ACCC acknowledges the Federal Budget announcement of a six-month reduction in fuel excise from 30 March 2022. We are monitoring fuel prices following this cut in fuel excise and will continue to do so following the reintroduction of the full excise from 29 September 2022. From 29 September 2022, the full fuel excise will be reinstated, translating to an extra 25.3 cpl in taxes.

The ACCC’s role is to monitor and report on fuel prices to help the community understand how the markets work and help inform consumers.

See Monitoring fuel prices following the excise cut for the latest information and updates on what the ACCC has found from monitoring activities.

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 had regular weekly price cycles up until October 2021 when they changed to fortnightly.

Petrol prices in Sydney

Buying tip (updated on Thursday):

  • prices are decreasing
  • motorists looking to buy petrol can shop around for the lowest 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
Mon 07 Feb 22 13 Sun 20 Feb 22 12 25
Fri 04 Mar 22 11 Tue 15 Mar 22 35 46
Tue 19 Apr 22 11 Sat 30 Apr 22 11 22
Wed 11 May 22 11 Sun 22 May 22 18 29
Thu 09 Jun 22 11 Mon 20 Jun 22 51 62

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated on Thursday):

  • prices are decreasing
  • motorists looking to buy petrol can shop around for the lowest prices.

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
Tue 22 Feb 22 21 Tue 15 Mar 22 34 55
Mon 18 Apr 22 7 Mon 25 Apr 22 12 19
Sat 07 May 22 10 Tue 17 May 22 16 26
Thu 02 Jun 22 11 Mon 13 Jun 22 15 26
Tue 28 Jun 22 9 Thu 07 Jul 22 36 45

Petrol prices in Brisbane

Buying tip (updated on Thursday):

  • prices are decreasing
  • motorists looking to buy petrol can shop around for the lowest 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
Thu 03 Feb 22 12 Tue 15 Feb 22 16 28
Thu 03 Mar 22 12 Tue 15 Mar 22 34 46
Mon 18 Apr 22 11 Fri 29 Apr 22 11 22
Tue 10 May 22 10 Fri 20 May 22 20 30
Thu 09 Jun 22 11 Mon 20 Jun 22 49 60

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated on Thursday):

  • 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 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 15 Jun 22 5 Mon 20 Jun 22 10 15
Thu 30 Jun 22 4 Mon 04 Jul 22 15 19
Tue 19 Jul 22 4 Sat 23 Jul 22 7 11
Sat 30 Jul 22 5 Thu 04 Aug 22 9 14
Sat 13 Aug 22 3 Tue 16 Aug 22 5 8

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip (updated on Thursday):

  • prices are decreasing
  • motorists looking to buy petrol can shop around for the lowest prices.

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 12 Jul 22 1 Wed 13 Jul 22 13 14
Tue 26 Jul 22 1 Wed 27 Jul 22 6 7
Tue 02 Aug 22 1 Wed 03 Aug 22 6 7
Tue 09 Aug 22 1 Wed 10 Aug 22 6 7
Tue 16 Aug 22 1 Wed 17 Aug 22 6 7

See also

What affects fuel prices

Fuel prices in regional locations

What the ACCC does in fuel monitoring.

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