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 2017, price cycle durations in these capital cities ranged from a low of 11 days to a high of 61 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 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
Wed 07 Feb 18 11 Sun 18 Feb 18 16 27
Tue 06 Mar 18 8 Wed 14 Mar 18 20 28
Tue 03 Apr 18 6 Mon 09 Apr 18 14 20
Mon 23 Apr 18 6 Sun 29 Apr 18 18 24
Thu 17 May 18 6 Wed 23 May 18 19 25

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
Fri 08 Dec 17 6 Thu 14 Dec 17 33 39
Tue 16 Jan 18 5 Sun 21 Jan 18 25 30
Thu 15 Feb 18 5 Tue 20 Feb 18 27 32
Mon 19 Mar 18 7 Mon 26 Mar 18 24 31
Thu 19 Apr 18 4 Mon 23 Apr 18 24 28

Petrol prices in Brisbane

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 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
Wed 06 Dec 17 7 Wed 13 Dec 17 35 42
Wed 17 Jan 18 5 Mon 22 Jan 18 25 30
Fri 16 Feb 18 5 Wed 21 Feb 18 23 28
Fri 16 Mar 18 10 Mon 26 Mar 18 22 32
Tue 17 Apr 18 8 Wed 25 Apr 18 22 30

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
Wed 28 Feb 18 6 Mon 06 Mar 18 13 19
Mon 19 Mar 18 8 Tue 27 Mar 18 12 20
Sun 08 Apr 18 6 Sat 14 Apr 18 17 23
Tue 01 May 18 8 Wed 09 May 18 12 20
Mon 21 May 18 9 Wed 30 May 18 13 22

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.

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

Mon 07 May 18 1 Tue 08 May 18 6 7
Mon 14 May 18 2 Wed 16 May 18 5 7
Mon 21 May 18 1 Tue 22 May 18 6 7
Mon 28 May 18 1 Tue 29 May 18 6 7
Mon 04 Jun 18 1 Tue 05 Jun 18 6 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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