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 increasing
  • if motorists shop around, they may find some retailers that have not yet increased prices.

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 23 Feb 21 13 Mon 08 Mar 21 23 36
Wed 31 Mar 21 15 Thu 15 Apr 21 26 41
Tue 11 May 21 13 Mon 24 May 21 25 38
Fri 18 Jun 21 12 Wed 30 Jun 21 42 54
Wed 11 Aug 21 13 Tue 24 Aug 21 36 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
Fri 26 Mar 21 9 Sun 04 Apr 21 27 36
Sat 01 May 21 12 Thu 13 May 21 33 45
Tue 15 Jun 21 16 Thu 01 Jul 21 19 35
Tue 20 Jul 21 10 Fri 30 Jul 21 34 44
Thu 02 Sept 21 13 Wed 15 Sept 21 21 34

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 21 Apr 21 15 Thu 06 May 21 20 35
Wed 26 May 21 14 Wed 09 Jun 21 18 32
Sun 27 Jun 21 8 Mon 05 Jul 21 22 30
Tue 27 Jul 21 14 Tues 10 Aug 21 23 37
Thu 02 Sep 21 13 Wed 15 Sep 21 22 35

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
Tue 20 Jul 21 6 Mon 26 Jul 21 11 17
Fri 06 Aug 21 4 Tue 10 Aug 21 11 15
Sat 21 Aug 21 4 Wed 25 Aug 21 9 13
Fri 03 Sep 21 4 Tues 07 Sep 21 12 16
Sun 19 Sep 21 4 Thu 23 Sep 21 12 16

Petrol prices in Perth

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 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 31 Aug 21 1 Wed 01 Sep 21 6 7
Tue 07 Sep 21 1 Wed 08 Sep 21 6 7
Tue 14 Sep 21 1 Wed 15 Sep 21 6 7
Tue 21 Sep 21 1 Wed 22 Sep 21 6 7
Tue 28 Sep 21 1 Wed 29 Sep 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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