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Heading away for Christmas? This is when you should fill up your tank

Samantha Menzies
·Contributing editor
·3-min read
hand guiding the fuel in the gasoline tank of the car at a small depth of field
Are you heading away over Christmas? Image: Getty

Are you heading off on a road trip this Christmas? Here’s when you should fill up.

According to Compare the Market the optimum time to fill up your tank depends on where you live as prices are varying drastically state by state.

There can be as much as a 70 cents per litre (CPL) price difference at petrol stations within a few minutes of each other, which is a potential $35 saving when filling up a standard 50-litre tank.

Here’s what we can expect for petrol prices in each Aussie city this festive season:

Sydney: pause if you can

Petrol prices in Sydney are decreasing, and are likely to fall further, so if you can hold off filling up, you could save.

Melbourne: hold off

Melbourne prices are decreasing but they will also continue to fall, according to the ACCC’s petrol price cycles.

It could be a long wait before prices are at their lowest again, so Melbourne motorists should hold off if possible before filling up.

Brisbane: prices are at their highest

Brisbane is currently at the top of its price cycle with some petrol stations just starting to decrease prices.

If you can hold off buying right now, that would be a good idea.

Adelaide: cheap but getting cheaper

Adelaide petrol prices are falling, but they’re likely to continue to fall for several more days. That means that those who can avoid buying now could snag themselves a bargain.

Perth: predictable cycle

Perth has a predictable 7-day petrol price cycle, with Tuesdays being the cheapest day to fill up before prices spike again on Wednesdays, Compare the Market’s Abigail Koch explains.

City average ULP price between 14 September 2020 and 14 December 2020

City

ULP average price over last quarter (CPL)

Greater Melbourne

123.9

Greater Hobart

122.6

ACT

121.3

Greater Brisbane

120.9

Greater Sydney

119.7

Greater Darwin

116.7

Greater Perth

116.7

Greater Adelaide

111.4

Source: The Pricing Project / Compare the market, prices effective 14/12/20

City average price spreads (the difference between the highest and lowest ULP price) between 14 September and 14 December 2020

City

Average $ difference between highest and lowest ULP price

(CPL)

Savings on a 50-litre tank*

($)

Greater Melbourne

72.40

36.20

Greater Hobart

22.31

11.15

ACT

21.42

10.71

Greater Brisbane

49.30

24.64

Greater Sydney

64.65

32.33

Greater Darwin

20.94

10.47

Greater Perth

49.43

24.72

Greater Adelaide

61.02

30.51

* Multiplying the average of weekly spread result by 50L (being an average fill quantity), expressed in dollars

Source: The Pricing Project / Compare the market, prices effective 14/12/20

Suburbs with the lowest average ULP price between 14 September to 14 December 2020

City

Suburb

ULP average price over last quarter (cpl)

Greater Melbourne

Cranbourne North

104.5

Greater Hobart

Sandfly

112.9

ACT

Crestwood

113.6

Greater Brisbane

Logan Village

103.9

Greater Sydney

Airds

98.7

Greater Darwin

Holtze

109.9

Greater Perth

Perth Airport

98.1

Greater Adelaide

Springwood

91.8

Source: The Pricing Project / Compare the market, prices effective 14/12/20

Suburbs with the highest average ULP price between 14 September to 14 December 2020

City

Suburb

ULP average price over last quarter (cpl)

Greater Melbourne

Werribee

150.0

Greater Hobart

Richmond

130.6

ACT

Hawker

129.5

Greater Brisbane

Dunwich

142.0

Greater Sydney

Edgecliff

145.8

Greater Darwin

Berry Springs

122.9

Greater Perth

South Yunderup

135.9

Greater Adelaide

Kangarilla

132.8

Source: The Pricing Project / Compare the market, prices effective 14/12/20

So how do I go about comparing prices?

Money saving comparison tools like Compare the Market’s app Simples, enable motorists to quickly and easily compare petrol prices from participating servos in their area or pinpoint the best places to fill up along their route, Koch said.

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