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Best day to buy cheapest fuel revealed

Motorists can expect prices to remain above $2 a litre for the rest of the year.

Petrol bowser with an inset of a calender to represent fuel prices.
Aussies can be strategic when it comes to filling up with fuel. (Source: Getty)

As Australians continue to grapple with cost-of-living pressures, the best day to buy fuel has been revealed.

The petrol price cycle continues to prove a challenge for household budgets as the average unleaded price climbs to more than $2.00 per litre in most states and territories this week.

Capital city motorists including in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are paying up to $2.21 for unleaded petrol.

With the school holidays upon us, Yahoo Finance has analysed the trends to find out when it's cheapest for you to fill up. But here's what you need to know first to understand why.


Factors keeping prices high

There are several factors currently pushing prices up, including the international benchmark prices and the value of the Australian dollar.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports the level of competition in certain areas also plays a large factor in petrol prices.

NRMA’s Peter Khoury told Yahoo Finance that Saudi Arabia, Russia and OPEC had cut oil production, which was artificially inflating the price of barrels.

“We believe they’ll stick with this strategy until at least the end of the year, so motorists will be paying around the $2.00-a-litre mark for the next few months,” he said.

Petrol price cycles

The cinemas or our favourite takeaway shop might have cheap Tuesdays but the petrol price cycle works a little differently.

If you haven’t heard about it before, the price of petrol can increase and decrease in a regular pattern across Australia’s cities due to the competition between retailers.

The ACCC explained that, in 2022, the eastern states had a price cycle of five weeks, while Adelaide was two weeks and Perth was each week.

What day should I fill up petrol to get the best deal?

The best day to head to the bowser is Wednesday, according to the ACCC.

Not all Australian cities' retailers stick to the price cycle though, so it's worth looking at recent data to see when their cheaper fuel may become available.

The best thing Australians can do is check websites or apps like Petrolspy or Fuelradar before filling up to see where the cheapest petrol is in their city.

A map on the Petrolspy app showing real-time fuel prices.
Petrolspy offers real-time updates for fuel prices. (Source: Petrolspy)

"You should be doing it anyway, but one of the best things to do is check prices using one of those apps or websites before you fill up," Khoury said.

"Real-time pricing is available in most states, apart from Victoria and the ACT."

Aussies feeling the pinch

Social media posts from Aussies across the country are showing the extent of increasing fuel costs, with many questioning how they can continue to afford to fill their car.

TikTok user mr_deeds2.0 uploaded a video with the caption "time to start riding the [horse] to town" as the price for petrol peaked at $2.23.9 a litre.

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