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

Petrol price buying tips for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.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 2019, price cycle durations in these capital cities ranged from a low of 13 days to a high of 38 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 increasing
  • if motorists shop around, they may find some retailers that have not yet increased prices.

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
Thu 05 Dec 19 8 Fri 13 Dec 19 21 29
Fri 03 Jan 20 12 Wed 15 Jan 20 18 30
Sun 02 Feb 20 13 Sat 15 Feb 20 21 34
Sat 07 Mar 20 13 Fri 20 Mar 20 38 51
Mon 27 Apr 20 15 Tue 12 May 20 21 36

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • 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 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 05 Dec 19 8 Fri 13 Dec 19 22 30
Sat 04 Jan 20 12 Thu 16 Jan 20 19 31
Tue 04 Feb 20 10 Fri 14 Feb 20 28 38
Fri 13 Mar 20 11 Tue 24 Mar 20 41 52
Mon 04 May 20 11 Fri 15 May 20 18 29

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
Tue 03 Dec 19 8 Wed 11 Dec 19 25 33
Sun 05 Jan 20 9 Tue 14 Jan 20 20 29
Mon 03 Feb 20 11 Fri 14 Feb 20 28 39
Fri 13 Mar 20 9 Sun 22 Mar 20 37 46
Tue 28 Apr 20 11 Sat 09 May 20 20 31

Petrol prices in Adelaide

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 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
Tue 14 Apr 20 4 Sat 18 Apr 20 10 14
Tue 28 Apr 20 3 Fri 01 May 20 7 10
Fri 08 May 20 3 Mon 11 May 20 10 13
Thu 21 May 20 4 Mon 25 May 20 12 16
Sat 06 Jun 20 3 Tue 09 Jun 20 9 12

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip

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

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 19 May 20 1 Wed 20 May 20 6 7
Tue 26 May 20 1 Wed 27 May 20 6 7
Tue 02 Jun 20 1 Wed 03 Jun 20 6 7
Tue 09 Jun 20 1 Wed 10 Jun 20 6 7
Tue 16 Jun 20 1 Wed 17 Jun 20 6 7

If you have information that a fuel retailer is not competing fairly

Contact the ACCC

More information

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