‘Fill up fast’: Petrol prices soar for school holidays
Motorists around the country are being urged to fill up quickly, with petrol prices already at a four-month high expected to rise again this weekend.
National average petrol prices reached 147.4 cents a litre last week, but wholesale prices climbed 4.6 cents last week too before school holidays in Queensland and Victoria began.
In Melbourne the average cost for regular unleaded is sitting at 164 cents after reaching a high point of 166 cents.
But News Corp has observed prices going to 167.9 cents already in Melbourne.
NRMA's Peter Khoury told News Corp Melbourne had set a benchmark for other cities, as school holidays are about to kick in for NSW and South Australia
He warned retail prices could go up as soon as Friday.
"We are only meant to be at about 130 now," Mr Khoury said.
"You only need to look at Adelaide and Melbourne, where it did get to 166, to get an indication of how high we hope the capital cities will get."
The average for regular unleaded is sitting at 139 cents in Sydney but it will start to climb.
"If Sydney doesn't get to 166, it will get pretty close," Mr Khoury said.
"Sydney's wholesale price has risen 8 cents - a big jump in the wholesale price in a week".
Mr Khoury said even before the attacks on two Saudi Arabian oil processing plants earlier this month, petrol prices were set to rise.
He blamed that on the United States' escalating trade war with China, a weak Australian dollar and oil-producing nations cutting production to increase prices.
Melburnians, who have already started their holidays, copped the highest rise last week, with a jump of 15.2 cents a litre to 147.9 cents a litre.
The end of a retail discount period saw prices climb further to 164 cents a litre on Monday.
It's a similar scenario in Adelaide where motorists are paying an average of 164 cents.
Brisbane saw the biggest drop in petrol prices for all the capital cities last week, falling by 13.7 cents a litre, with drivers paying 139.4 cents a litre on Monday.
While Hobart saw the lowest rise in prices, at 0.1 cents a litre, they paid the highest average of any capital city last week, at 151.5 cents a litre.
The national average retail diesel price also rose, climbing 0.6 cents to 147.4 cents a litre last week.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told News Corp motorists need to use apps like MotorMouth, GasBuddy and Fuel Check (NSW) as there's a number of service stations with petrol prices lower than the higher priced ones.
"When to buy is important because in the larger cities the petrol prices go up by 20 to 30 cents in a couple of days," a spokesperson said.
"If you notice prices going up, use an app to find a retailer who has not yet raised its prices yet - there is generally a 5-7 day "lag" between the first retailer who raises its prices and the last.
"Buy petrol at the lowest point (trough) of the cycle if you can. If you have to fill up, just put a bit of petrol in and wait until prices are on the way down again
"Shop at the independents. Regular unleaded petrol is essentially the same and the independents are consistently priced the cheapest."