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 areĀ decreasing but they are likely to decrease further
  • if possible, motorists should delay buying petrol until later.

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
Sat 07 Mar 20 13 Fri 20 Mar 20 38 51
Mon 27 Apr 20 15 Tue 12 May 20 21 36
Tue 02 Jun 20 11 Sat 13 Jun 20 26 37
Thu 09 Jul 20 11 Mon 20 Jul 20 30 41
Wed 19 Aug 20 11 Sun 30 Aug 20 25 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
Fri 13 Mar 20 11 Tue 24 Mar 20 41 52
Mon 04 May 20 11 Fri 15 May 20 18 29
Tue 02 Jun 20 10 Fri 12 Jun 20 27 37
Thu 09 Jul 20 12 Tue 21 Jul 20 28 40
Tue 18 Aug 20 15 Wed 02 Sep 20 41 56

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 28 Apr 20 11 Sat 09 May 20 20 31
Fri 29 May 20 9 Sun 07 Jun 20 18 27
Thu 25 Jun 20 8 Fri 03 Jul 20 21 29
Fri 24 Jul 20 10 Mon 03 Aug 20 18 28
Fri 21 Aug 20 10 Mon 31 Aug 20 28 38

Petrol prices in Adelaide

Buying tip (updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

  • 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 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
Thu 16 Jul 20 4 Mon 20 Jul 20 8 12
Tue 28 Jul 20 5 Sun 02 Aug 20 9 14
Tue 11 Aug 20 6 Mon 17 Aug 20 9 15
Wed 26 Aug 20 5 Mon 31 Aug 20 11 16
Fri 11 Sep 20 4 Tue 15 Sep 20 10 14

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 08 Sep 20 1 Wed 09 Sep 20 6 7
Tue 15 Sep 20 1 Wed 16 Sep 20 6 7
Tue 22 Sep 20 1 Wed 23 Sep 20 6 7
Tue 29 Sep 20 1 Wed 30 Sep 20 6 7
Tue 06 Oct 20 1 Wed 07 Oct 20 6 7

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

Contact the ACCC

More information

Petrol, diesel and LPG

ACCC's fuel monitoring role

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