Motorists around the country may want to hold off filling up the tank until closer to Christmas, if possible, as petrol prices have begun to ease in most cities, according to the latest quarterly petrol analysis from comparethemarket.com.au.
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 17 September to 17 December 2017 across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra to find out which city is paying the most, and where prices are sitting in the cycle ahead of the Christmas break.
Prices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are on their way down. While prices are going down in Adelaide and Perth, they may begin to rise at Christmas. In Canberra, prices are expected to remain high.
Comparethemarket.com.au spokesperson Abigail Koch says, “Even with petrol prices on their way down, the average price of petrol is still sitting at 134.2cpl over the last quarter – the highest of any quarter this year, and 11.5cpl higher than the last quarter (24 June to 24 September). I would strongly advise motorists to keep checking prices before filling up this Christmas.
“Prices in the major cities, excluding Canberra, run in cycles that are variable depending on the city. Sydney and Brisbane cycles peaked one week ago, while Melbourne prices only peaked at the end of last week and are on the way back down. As prices in these cities are not expected to peak again until around New Year’s Eve, my suggestion is to hold off filling up the tank in full until as close to Christmas as possible.”
Sydney residents have been paying the least for fuel over the last quarter, with the average price for petrol around 132.4cpl. However, this was still 12.8cpl higher than the previous quarter (24 June to 24 September). Prices peaked a week ago and are slowly on the way back down. Residents in the Fairfield-Liverpool region might be in luck this Christmas, with the average prices for fuel over the last quarter sitting at 130.5cpl – the lowest in the country. The sub-region paying the highest prices for petrol in the country were those in the east of Sydney, with fuel prices averaging 136.5cpl over the last quarter.
With petrol prices in Melbourne spiking at the end of last week, motorists might want to hold off filling up for as long as they can as prices continue to make their way down. Melbournians paid on average 133.9cpl over the last quarter, with the Altona and Williamstown sub-region reporting the lowest prices at 131.2cpl. The highest in the Victorian capital was the Greensborough and Ivanhoe sub-region at 135.9cpl.
Like Sydney, Brisbane’s petrol cycle peaked a week ago and isn’t expected to spike again until New Year’s Eve, with prices falling slowly until then. Residents heading on a road trip this Christmas might find Bayside has the best prices, with the quarterly average for fuel in that sub-region at 134.8cpl. The highest prices were in North West Brisbane, at 136.4cpl over the last quarter. On average, Brisbane residents were paying 136.3cpl, the second highest of the major capital cities, behind Canberra.
Petrol prices in Adelaide are on the way down and will continue to ease over the weekend, but motorists should fill up the tank before Christmas Day when prices are expected to rise. Over the last quarter, Adelaide motorists were paying 132.6cpl, but those in the Western and Beach suburbs paid just 131.1cpl. Residents in Adelaide’s Eastern Suburbs were being slugged 134cpl for fuel.
It’s good news for Perth motorists heading on a Christmas road trip. Perth’s seven-day price cycle is likely to spike around Boxing Day, so is expected to be at its lowest point in the cycle over the weekend, just in time for Christmas. Perth motorists were paying the second lowest for petrol over the last quarter, at an average of 132.5cpl. There was little variance across the West Australian capital, with the lowest quarterly average in the East (at 131.8cpl) and the highest in the South (132.8cpl).
Unfortunately for Canberra motorists, petrol prices rose almost two weeks ago by 4cpl and may stay that way for a while. With the average price in Canberra over the last quarter the highest of the major capital cities at 137.6cpl, residents may want to check prices before they visit the pump.
Abigail adds “With Christmas being such an expensive time of the year, it’s important that Aussies hitting the road are getting the best price at the bowser. Over the holidays, it can be difficult to know where to fill up and when to do it, especially with a difference of 5.2cpl between the highest-priced and lowest-priced capital cities. Before setting off to your Christmas lunch or New Year’s road trip, motorists should compare prices on comparethemarket.com.au to find the best station to fuel up and avoid being slugged with higher than expected prices.”
Quarterly average price for ULP in major capital cities between 17 September and 17 December 2017
|City||3 month ULP average (cpl)|
Sub-regions with the lowest ULP average between 17 September and 17 December 2017
|City||Sub-region||3 month ULP average (cpl)|
|Adelaide||Western & Beach Suburbs||131.1|
Sub-regions with the highest ULP average between 17 September and 17 December 2017
|City||Sub-region||3 month ULP average (cpl)|
|Brisbane||North West Brisbane||136.4|
Suburbs with the lowest average ULP price on Monday morning 18 December 2017
|City||Suburb||ULP average price Monday morning (cpl)|
Suburbs with the highest average ULP price on Monday morning 18 December 2017
|City||Suburb||ULP average price Sunday evening|
|Melbourne||Narre Warren North||149.9|
|Brisbane||Upper Mount Gravatt||149.9|
* Original data supplied by MotorMouth Pty Ltd
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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 fuel 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.
 This commentary is speculative given fuel prices for the future are subject to various factors