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‘What we feared’: Petrol volatility comes for Aussie drivers

The escalation is unlikely to be good news for Australian drivers. Images: Getty

The missile attack on US bases in Iraq has left the globe reeling, following the US’ assassination of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani on Friday.

Iran state TV on Wednesday said Tehran had launched “tens” of missiles at Iraq’s Ain Assad air base which houses US troops, with the revolutionary guard warning against further retaliation. 

Oil prices spiked more than 3.5 per cent following the strike, surging to more than US$65 a barrel, bringing the overall rise since the death of Soleimani to 6 per cent. 

The ASX also saw share prices dive amid the growing tensions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 down 29.3 points at 10:30AEDT, as investor fears were realised.

“Obviously it's too early to tell what sort of reaction there will be but this is the sort of thing we feared,” NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury told Yahoo Finance. 

The huge escalation squanders earlier hopes for a return to stable fuel pricing, with Khoury casting aside previous warnings that prices could rise between 3 and 4 cents a litre within days. 

“There's no way of putting a figure on it now,” he said. 

“Now we just have to wait and see what happens, who knows. [But] put it this way, it's not normally a good thing. It's not likely to work in our favour.”

When a drone attack targeted a Saudi Arabian oil processing facility, the world lost 5 per cent of its daily oil supply pushing petrol prices up roughly 1 cent.

Drivers urged to shop around

While it’s unclear how the strikes will affect petrol prices, Khoury said one of the best things drivers can do is to shop around. 

Short of purchasing an electric vehicle, drivers should use apps like the NRMA app, or their local motoring club websites, to compare prices at different service stations. 

“It makes it a lot easier for motorists to make the most of the volatility that comes from these sorts of price movements,” he said. 

Drivers should also be aware of the petrol price cycle in their state to understand the best times to fill up.

More to come.

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