Petrol prices fall ahead of Easter long weekend


Heading away this Easter? It could be good news if you're hitting the road, with most of the country set to dodge the usual long weekend petrol price hike at the bowser.

There are dramatic price differences across our major cities, with prices falling in most locations.

In a nutshell, fuel price cycles are currently in their discount phases after the highs of $2.31 a litre we saw in cities like Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney earlier this month.

easter long weekend petrol prices

But because we're now in the discounting phase of the fuel pricing cycle, 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.

Motorists need to take the wheel to find savings

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. 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 paying too much. It's up to you to use your fuel comparison apps, do your research and fill up for less where you can. As we've seen, it's possible to fill up for less than $2 a litre in all of Australia's cities.

City Average price Cheapest price Most expensive price Price difference between cheapest and most expensive
Brisbane $2.00 184.9 221.9 37 cents
Sydney $1.90 177.6 235.9 58 cents
Melbourne $2.00 182.5 225.9 43 cents
Adelaide $1.88 179.5 214.9 35 cents
Perth $2.09 173.9 225.9 52 cents
Canberra $2.08 188.9 214.9 26 cents
Hobart $1.99 192.9 203.9 11 cents
Darwin $1.91 181.5 191.9 10 cents

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

Brisbane fuel prices are on the decline

There's a 37-cent difference between the cheapest price ($1.84/litre) and the most expensive ($2.21/litre) in greater Brisbane right now, which is a saving of $18.50 if filling up a 50-litre tank.

The average price of Unleaded 91 has dropped by 20 cents over the past fortnight in the River City and should continue to fall further rover the next two weeks.

Significant savings in Sydney

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. But in Sydney, motorists will want to take advantage of savings when they see them.

Discounting will 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.

Melbourne drivers being slugged more on average

Drivers 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.

Melbourne motorists should see prices reach the lowest point of their fuel pricing cycle in about three weeks, so the high prices could stick around for Easter and the upcoming school holidays.

More than fuel pricing cycles playing a role in petrol sting

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.

However, there are several ways to save when filling up. Apps like Compare the Market's Simples Fuel App allow you to easily compare fuel prices and search for nearby discounts.

Similarly, don't stick to the same servo. 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.

And, keep an eye out for discounts that are on offer through supermarkets or see if there are any offers you can utilise through roadside assistance programs.

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Chris Ford is the general manager of media and communications at Compare the Market. He studied journalism at the University of Queensland, and has more than 13 years' experience in media.