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 05 Apr 16 5 Sat 10 Apr 16 15 20
Mon 25 Apr 16 6 Sun 01 May 16 15 21
Mon 16 May 16 5 Sat 21 May 16 16 21
Mon 06 June 16 7 Mon 13 Jun 16 28 35
Mon 11 June 16 6 Sun 17 Jul 16 30 36

Petrol prices in Melbourne

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 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
Thu 04 Feb 16 4

Mon 08 Feb 16

22 26
Tue 01 Mar 16 5

Sun 06 Mar 16

24 29
Wed 30 Mar 16 4

Sun 03 Apr 16

31 35
Mon 04 May 16 5 Mon 09 May 16 21 26
Mon 30 May 16 4 Fri 03 Jun 16 46 50

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
Wed 27 Jan 16 7 Wed 03 Feb 16 27 34
Tue 01 Mar 16 5 Sun 06 Mar 16 30 35
Tue 05 Apr 16 5 Sun 10 Apr 16 24 29
Wed 04 May 16 6 Mon 09 May 16 19 25
Sun 29 May 16 6 Sat 04 Jun 16 45 51

Petrol prices in Adelaide

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 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
Sun 10 Apr 16 9 Tue 19 Apr 16 16 25
Wed 04 May 16 6 Tue 10 May 16 13 19
Mon 23 May 16 3 Thu 26 May 16 15 18
Fri 10 Jun 16 3 Mon 13 Jun 16 16 19
Wed 29 Jun 16 5 Mon 04 Jul 16 35 40

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 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 18 Jul 16 1 Tue 19 Jul 16 6 7
Mon 25 Jul 16 1 Tue 26 Jul 16 6 7
Mon 01 Aug 16 1 Tue 02 Aug 16 6 7
Mon 08 Aug 16 1 Tue 09 Aug 16 6 7
Mon 15 Aug 16 1 Tue 16 Aug 16 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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