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 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
Thu 24 Sep 20 16 Sat 10 Oct 20 22 38
Sun 01 Nov 20 15 Mon 16 Nov 20 17 32
Thu 03 Dec 20 12 Tue 15 Dec 20 28 40
Tue 12 Jan 21 10 Fri 22 Jan 21 32 42
Tue 23 Feb 21 12 Sun 07 Mar 21 24 36

Petrol prices in Melbourne

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 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 18 Aug 20 15 Wed 02 Sep 20 41 56
Tue 13 Oct 20 12 Sun 25 Oct 20 30 42
Tue 24 Nov 20 15 Wed 09 Dec 20 34 49
Tue 12 Jan 21 10 Fri 22 Jan 21 32 42
Tue 23 Feb 21 9 Thu 04 Mar 21 22 31

Petrol prices in Brisbane

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 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 28 Sep 20 14 Mon 12 Oct 20 26 40
Sat 07 Nov 20 12 Thu 19 Nov 20 20 32
Wed 09 Dec 20 12 Mon 21 Dec 20 23 35
Wed 13 Jan 21 10 Sat 23 Jan 21 18 28
Wed 10 Feb 21 12 Mon 22 Feb 21 21 33

Petrol prices in Adelaide

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 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 29 Jan 21 4 Tue 02 Feb 21 9 13
Thu 11 Feb 21 5 Tue 16 Feb 21 10 15
Fri 26 Feb 21 4 Tue 02 Mar 21 9 13
Thu 11 Mar 21 6 Wed 17 Mar 21 10 16
Sat 27 Mar 21 2 Mon 29 Mar 21 8 10

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 02 Mar 21 1 Wed 03 Mar 21 6 7
Tue 09 Mar 21 1 Wed 10 Mar 21 6 7
Tue 16 Mar 21 1 Wed 17 Mar 21 6 7
Tue 23 Mar 21 1 Wed 24 Mar 21 6 7
Tue 30 Mar 21 1 Wed 31 Mar 21 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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