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 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
Tue 27 Oct 16 5 Tues 01 Nov 16 22 27
Wed 23 Nov 16 3 Sat 26 Nov 16 5 8
Wed 30 Nov 16 10 Sun 11 Dec 16 23 33
Tues 03 Jan 17 6 Mon 09 Jan 17 37 43
Wed 15 Feb 17 5 Mon 20 Feb 17 44 49

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
Tue 19 Jul 16 5

Sun 24 Jul 16

35 40
Sun 28 Aug 16 3

Wed 31 Aug 16

31 34
Sat 01 Oct 16 2 Mon 03 Oct 16 36 38
Tue 08 Nov 16 9 Thu 17 Nov 16 51 60
Sat 07 Jan 17 10

Tue 17 Jan 17

51 61

Petrol prices in Brisbane

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 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 29 Aug 16 4

Fri 02 Sep 16

31

35

Mon 03 Oct 16

5

Fri 07 Oct 16

26

31

Wed 02 Nov 16

4

Sun 06 Nov 16

30

34

Thu 08 Dec 16

8

Wed 14 Dec 16

35

43

Wed 18 Jan 17

6

Tue 24 Jan 17

46

52

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

Thu 13 Oct 16

3

Sun 16 Oct 16

16

19

Tue 01 Nov 16

5

Sun 06 Nov 16

25

30

Sat 26 Nov 16

16

Mon 12 Dec 16

23

39

Wed 04 Jan 17

4

Sun 08 Jan 17

8

32

Sun 05 Feb 17

9

Tue 14 Feb 17

30

39

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 13 Mar 17

1

Tue 14 Mar 17

6

7

Mon 20 Mar 17

1

Tue 21 Mar 17

6

7

Mon 27 Mar 17

1

Tue 28 Mar 17

6

7

Mon 03 Apr 17

1

Tue 04 Apr 17

6

7

Mon 10 Apr 17

1

Tue 11 Apr 17

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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