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Heading away for Easter? Here’s how petrol prices are tracking for the long

Reviewed by expert, Chris Ford
5 min read
28 Mar 2024
man filling his car with fuel after petrol price hike

Australian motorists may have something extra to celebrate this Easter, with most of the country set to dodge the usual long weekend petrol price hike at the bowser. However, Compare the Market warns that there are still dramatic price differences across our major cities, noting that there’s real value in doing your research if you’re hitting the road for the four-day weekend.

According to Compare the Market’s Chris Ford, the cost of petrol remains steady across Australia’s capitals right now and fuel price cycles are currently in their discount phases.

“We know that cities including Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney were hit with a big petrol price spike earlier this month, which saw the price of Unleaded 91 soar past $2.31 a litre,” Mr Ford said.

“The good news is we’re now in the discounting phase of the fuel pricing cycle in all these cities, so prices are dropping and will continue to fall over the next week or two. If you’re packing up the car and getting out of town for the Easter long weekend, you’re likely to see lower prices than we’ve seen over the past few weeks.”

Despite fuel prices dropping in most cities, Mr Ford said there were still huge price differences across the major cities.

“While it’s great we’re in the discounting phase of the fuel pricing cycle, motorists shouldn’t be complacent, as there are still some significant highs in our cities,” Mr Ford said. “For example, the high point in Brisbane right now is $2.21 a litre for Unleaded 91. In Sydney, some stations have prices as high as $2.35 a litre, while some retailers in Melbourne have set prices to highs of $2.25.

“If you see these prices, chances are you’re going to get stung. Our research shows there are some great discounts available, but it’s up to you to use your fuel comparison apps, do your research and fill up for less where you can. “

CityAverage priceCheapest priceMost expensive pricePrice difference between cheapest and most expensive
Brisbane$2.00184.9221.937 cents
Sydney$1.90177.6235.958 cents
Melbourne$2.00182.5225.943 cents
Adelaide$1.88179.5214.935 cents
Perth$2.09173.9225.952 cents
Canberra$2.08188.9214.926 cents
Hobart$1.99192.9203.911 cents
Darwin$1.91181.5191.910 cents

*As of 27 March 2024, using Compare the Market’s Simples App

In Greater Brisbane right now, there’s a 37-cent difference between the cheapest price ($1.84/litre) and the most expensive ($2.21/litre). That’s a saving of $18.50 if filling up a 50-litre tank.

“It’s looking like a great long weekend for motorists in Greater Brisbane, with prices continuing to fall in the river city,” Mr Ford said.

“In fact, we’ve seen the average price fall by more than 20 cents/litre over the past fortnight, with further discounts expected over the next two weeks. This means that beyond the Easter long weekend, we should continue to see lower prices on our roads over the school holidays.”

Greater Sydney is seeing even higher price differences than Brisbane, where there’s a 59-cent difference or $29 if filling up a 50-litre tank.

“Sydney has seen the average price for Unleaded 91 fall by around 20 cents a litre over the past two weeks and on average, New South Wales motorists are paying around 10 cents less per litre than those north of the border,” Mr Ford said.

“However, we expect to see discounting slow down in the coming week, which means we could see price hikes in the lead up to the April school holidays.

‘It’s a bit of a double whammy in the Harbour City, with rising wholesale prices meaning the next peak could hit sooner than we’re expecting.”

Meanwhile, motorists in Greater Melbourne could save as much as $21.50 if filling up between the cheapest and most expensive locations, but those in the Victorian capital are still paying more on average than drivers in Sydney and Brisbane.

“We’re seeing that their prices are lagging and motorists in Victoria are still paying more on average,” Mr Ford said. “School holidays kick off in Victoria this Friday, but it’s going to be around three weeks until Melbourne gets to the lowest point of their fuel pricing cycle. Sadly, that’s going to come after term two resumes.”

Fuel pricing cycles aside, several factors influence the price we pay at the bowser. In the past week, wholesale petrol prices have increased by about 4.8 cents a litre. Average wholesale prices have climbed from the national average of $1.65/litre at the beginning of the year to highs of $1.84 now, while Australia’s oil benchmarks are also up by around 10% since the start of the year, which can impact the price we pay when filling up.

Mr Ford said there were several things you could do to avoid being stung at the bowser this Easter long weekend.

  1. Use fuel comparison apps before you fill up. Apps like Compare the Market’s Simples Fuel App are one of the best ways you can easily compare fuel prices and search for nearby discounts
  2. Fill up when and where you see cheaper fuel. You might find a better deal by driving just a few minutes down the road or discovering the station you always visit is ripping you off.
  3. Sniff out the discounts. Seek out fuel discounts that are on offer through supermarkets or see if there are any offers you can utilise through roadside assistance programs. You may also be able to lock in cheaper fuel rates with some retailers.

For more information, please contact:  

Phillip Portman | 0437 384 471 | [email protected]

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy home and contents, car, pet and travel insurance along with energy products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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avatar of author: Phillip Portman

Written by Phillip Portman

When he’s not busy writing, Phillip can usually be found at the movies, playing with his Italian Greyhound Wilma, hanging out with his cockatiel Tiki, or talking about everything pop culture. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism and has previously written about health, entertainment, and lifestyle for various publications. Phillip loves to help others and hopes that people learn something new from his articles.

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