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 2015 to date, price cycle durations in these cities have ranged from a low of 13 days to a high of 67 days. The petrol price cycle duration in Perth is generally seven 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
  • if 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
Tue 04 Nov 15 3 Sat 07 Nov 15 12 15
Thu 19 Nov 15 3 Sun 22 Nov 15 16 19
Tue 08 Dec 15 5 Sun 13 Dec 15 21 26
Sun 03 Jan 16 4 Thu 07 Jan 16 19 23
Tue 26 Jan 16 3 Fri 29 Jan 16 5 8

Petrol prices in Melbourne

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • prices appear to be around the highest point of the price cycle
  • if possible, motorists should avoid buying petrol at this time.

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
Wed 02 Sep 15 5 Mon 07 Sep 15 17 22
Thu 24 Sep 15 6 Wed 30 Sep 15 28 34
Wed 28 Oct 15 5 Mon 02 Nov 15 22 27
Tue 24 Nov 15 4

Sat 28 Nov 15

20 24
Fri 18 Dec 15 5 Wed 23 Dec 15 43 48

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
Mon 07 Sep 15 5 Sat 12 Sep 15 10 15
Tue 22 Sep 15 3 Fri 25 Sep 15 45 48
Mon 09 Nov 15 4 Fri 13 Nov 15 25 29
Tue 08 Dec 15 5 Sun 13 Dec 15 23 28
Tue 05 Jan 16 5 Sun 10 Jan 16 17 22

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

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

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
Fri 30 Oct 15 4 Tue 03 Nov 15 8 12
Wed 11 Nov 15 4 Sun 15 Nov 15 9 13
Tue 24 Nov 15 5 Sun 29 Nov 15 9 14
Tue 08 Dec 15 4 Sat 12 Dec 15 16 20
Mon 28 Dec 15 5 Sat 02 Jan 16 23 28

Petrol prices in Perth

Buying tip

Perth currently has regular weekly petrol price cycles, with prices generally peaking on Tuesday and then decreasing to a low on Monday. However, the week beginning 25 January 2016 saw prices peak instead on a Wednesday (27 January).

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
Mon 28 Dec 15 1 Tue 29 Dec 15 6 7
Mon 04 Jan 16 1 Tue 05 Jan 16 6 7
Mon 11 Jan 16 1 Tue 12 Jan 16 6 7
Mon 18 Jan 16 1 Tue 19 Jan 16 6 7
Mon 25 Jan 16 1 Wed 27 Jan 16 5 7

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

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