Why are fuel prices so high and when is the best time to fill up? Here’s a capital city breakdown

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Australian motorists are paying eye-watering prices for fuel, with the national average reaching 204.4 cents per litre.

This is the highest average petrol and diesel prices seen since the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This also marks the fifth week in a row petrol and diesel prices have remained above $2 per litre in all but one of the capital cities, according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP).

Here’s how national petrol prices have tracked over the past month:

  • August 27: 205 cents
  • September 3: 203.3 cents
  • September 10: 201.7 cents
  • September 17: 204.4 cents

With many people jumping in their cars during the school holidays, we’ve taken a look at average prices for petrol and diesel in capital cities and the best time to fill up.

Early signs indicate some states are at the highest point in the price cycle while others should fill up now. Keep in mind the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) notes price cycles do not occur in smaller capital cities or in most regional locations.

The following figures were sourced from the AIP and relate to average fuel prices for the week ending Sunday 17, September.

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra average weekly petrol price: 205.1 cents

Canberra average weekly diesel price: 222.2 cents

Since mid-July, Canberra petrol prices have been slowly increasing, with the average price just over $2.05 cents per litre as of September 17.

New South Wales

Sydney average weekly petrol price: 218.4 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 204.4 cents

Sydney average weekly diesel price: 217.1

Motorists looking to head off on a getaway during the school holidays will be disappointed to hear prices are on the up.

According to the ACCC, Sydney drivers should keep an eye out on retailers that are yet to pass on price increases as costs head towards the $2.20 per litre mark.

Northern Territory

Darwin average weekly petrol price: 202.6 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 240.7 cents

Darwin average weekly diesel price: 217.7 cents

The Northern Territory had the highest average regional price of 240.7 cents per litre.

Over the past six months, average regional prices have not dropped below 229 cents per litre.

Queensland

Brisbane average weekly petrol price: 203.4 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 202 cents

Brisbane average weekly diesel price: 218.3 cents

Brisbane petrol prices have been slowly easing since end-August, and with prices expected to continue on a downward trend, the ACCC recommends Brisbane drivers shop around to find the best deal.

South Australia

Adelaide average weekly petrol price: 187.8 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 200.3 cents

Adelaide average weekly diesel price: 214.6 cents

Adelaide was the only capital city to record an average weekly petrol price below the $2 mark.

The ACCC said prices appear to be at their lowest point of the cycle so now is a good time to head to the bowser.

Tasmania

Hobart average weekly petrol price: 208.2 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 209.2 cents

Hobart average weekly diesel price: 221.8 cents

Since mid-July, Hobart’s average weekly petrol prices have been increasing significantly, lifting from $1.82 to $2.08 per litre.

Launceston’s weekly average trended lower than Hobart, sitting at 207.6 cents per litre.

Victoria

Melbourne average weekly petrol price: 200.5 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 198.2 cents

Melbourne average weekly diesel price: 218 cents

Following a small reprieve last week, motorists in Melbourne are paying above $2 per litre for petrol once again.

Regional Victoria was the only area to record petrol prices below $2 per litre.

Much like their northern neighbour, prices are beginning to increase this week so motorists are urged to fill up before they rise any further.

Western Australia

Perth average weekly petrol price: 202.1 cents

Regional weekly petrol price: 207.7 cents

Perth average weekly diesel price: 215.6 cents

For Perth motorists, petrol prices have been slowly increasing since the start of July with the average price reaching over $2 as of September 17.

Broome recorded the highest regional petrol price at $2.46 per litre while Bunbury recorded the lowest at $1.99.

If you’re heading on a road trip to celebrate the start of the school holidays, the ACCC recommends keeping an eye on petrol prices as they are likely to decrease further throughout the week.

Why are petrol prices so high right now?

Tightening global crude oil prices and a weak Australian dollar are responsible for pushing petrol prices higher.

At the core of this was a decision made in July this year by the OPEC+, which is led by Saudi Arabia but also includes Russia, who decided to extend oil production cuts by more than a million barrels a day until the end of the year.

A decrease in supply means an increase in oil prices.

How can I find the cheapest fuel near me?

If you’re unsure how to beat the bowser, the advice is to shop around where you can.

While you can drive around your area looking for the cheapest station, this can waste time and fuel. Download a fuel price app that can locate the best deals in your area.

You could also take advantage of fuel deals through supermarkets and other rewards programs to save a few extra dollars on every refill.

(Original ABC Article)