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Petrol prices are easing towards the bottom of the cycle across cities – but still the highest in four years

6 min read
6 Jun 2018

New research reveals petrol prices over the last quarter have been at their highest since 2014. The latest quarterly petrol analysis from comparethemarket.com.au indicates that petrol prices in most capital cities peaked recently at the highest point in their cycle. Comparethemarket.com.au urges motorists to hold off filling up their tanks for as long as they can, and shop around for the best price at the pump ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

The free comparison website, which updates its petrol price data three times daily across all major Australian cities, analysed the average cents per litre (cpl) of unleaded petrol from 3 March to 3 June 2018. The data was sourced across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, to gauge which parts of the country were the cheapest for petrol, and where prices are sitting in the cycle ahead of the weekend[1].

Petrol prices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide peaked in their cycle in late May and are expected to ease slightly over the weekend as they continue to fall towards the low point in their cycle. Perth and Sydney prices are trending down, with prices in Perth expected to be at their lowest in their cycle on Monday. Canberra petrol prices have increased by 5.5cpl over the last few days.

Household savings expert Abigail Koch at comparethemarket.com.au said: “The cost of crude oil has pushed up petrol prices to their highest levels in four years. Our quarterly petrol analysis revealed Aussies were paying, on average, 142.5cpl over the last few months – 5.1cpl higher than last quarter. Petrol prices in most capital cities, excluding Canberra, run on cycles of seven days to around 30 days. While prices may ease slightly in some capital cities over the weekend, we strongly urge motorists to check petrol prices before filling up.”

Compared with the other cities, Sydney motorists – along with those in Adelaide – were paying the least for petrol, over the past three months at 140.0cpl. However, motorists in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs were being stung 5cpl more on average, at 145.1cpl. The cost of petrol in the Fairfield and Liverpool sub-region was 138.4cpl over the same period. With petrol as high as 160.4cpl in the north-west suburb of Maroota and as low as 140.9cpl in Earlwood, as of early this week, motorists are being urged to shop around before filling up.

Melbourne petrol prices are starting to ease after peaking at the top of the cycle on 22 May. Over the last quarter, motorists were paying, on average, 141.1cpl at the bowser. Not only was Vermont the cheapest Melbourne sub-region to fill up – at 136.2cpl on average – it was also the cheapest sub-region in the country. The most expensive sub-region was Greensborough and Ivanhoe, with petrol costing 142.2cpl over the same period.

Although Queensland won’t enjoy the extra long weekend, petrol prices in Brisbane were 144.4cpl over the quarter. The sub-region of North West Brisbane recorded the highest quarterly average, at 145.6cpl. The sub-region of South Brisbane was the cheapest, at 142.1cpl. Similar to Melbourne, Brisbane’s petrol cycle peaked in late-May and is expected to ease slightly over the weekend. As of early this week, the most expensive suburbs to fill up were Eagle Farm, Hamilton and Milton, while petrol in Coopers Plains was 13.9cpl less, at 146.0cpl.

With petrol prices in Adelaide starting to ease after peaking on 30 May, motorists are being urged to top up rather than fill up until prices drop further. Adelaide motorists were paying some of the best prices for petrol over the quarter, at 140.0cpl. The cheapest place to top up the tank over the quarter was in the Western and Beach Suburbs, at 138.0cpl. As of early this week, the cheapest suburb to fill up was Blair Athol, at 142.5cpl, while in Seaford, motorists were paying 17.9cpl more.

While Perth won’t enjoy the long weekend either; prices should ease leading into the weekend and be at their lowest in the cycle on Monday. There was little variance in petrol prices around the city over the quarter, with petrol costing 140.0cpl in the city’s East, and 141.1cpl in the South.

Motorists in Canberra paid the most for petrol over the quarter, at 148.5cpl. After a reasonable period of stability, petrol prices in the nation’s capital jumped 5.5cpl over the last few days. As of early this week, the cheapest place to fill up was in Fyshwick, at 152.9cpl, while in Holt, Dickson and Belconnen, motorists were paying 155.9cpl.

“Around the country, most capital cities are some way from the expected bottom of their cycle. This, coupled with world oil prices being higher than in any other time over recent memory, means motorists should shop around for the best price before filling up this long weekend. We recommend drivers across the country compare prices on free petrol apps, such as comparethemarket.com.au, to find the best deals before hitting the road,” said Abigail Koch.

Quarterly average price for ULP in major capital cities between 3 March and 3 June 2018

City3 month ULP average (cpl)


Sub-regions with the lowest ULP average between 3 March and 3 June 2018

CitySub-region3 month ULP average (cpl)
BrisbaneSouth Brisbane142.1
AdelaideWestern & Beach Suburbs138.0
PerthEast Region140.0

Sub-regions with the highest ULP average between 3 March and 3 June 2018

CitySub-region3 month ULP average (cpl)
SydneyEastern Suburbs145.1
MelbourneGreensborough and Ivanhoe142.2
BrisbaneNorth West Brisbane145.6
AdelaideSouthern Suburbs141.6
PerthSouth region141.1


Suburbs with the lowest average ULP price on Monday morning 4 June 2018

CitySuburbULP average price Monday morning (cpl)
BrisbaneCoopers Plains146.0
AdelaideBlair Athol142.5
PerthPort Kennedy137.9


Suburbs with the highest average ULP price on Monday morning 4 June 2018

CitySuburbULP average price Sunday evening
BrisbaneEagle Farm159.9


* Original data supplied by MotorMouth Pty Ltd


About comparethemarket.com.au
Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest petrol prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.


[1] This commentary is speculative given petrol prices for the future are subject to various factors

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avatar of author: Hannah Twiggs

Written by Hannah Twiggs

Hannah (or Twiggs as she's known by most of her colleagues) is a non-stop talker, avid snack eater, dog lover and passionate writer. When she's not chatting to journalists or writing up new story angles, Hannah enjoys a good Netflix binge, going away camping with friends and big brunches - preferably with extra bacon.

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