ACCC: Petrol prices to fall before Christmas

19 December 2016
With petrol prices currently at the peak of their price cycles in many Australian cities, prices are tipped to fall as the demand for petrol reaches its peak.

At a time where petrol sales in Australia are at their highest, motorists around the country will be happy to know fuel prices will be falling.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has identified that petrol prices in many capital cities have peaked, signalling to consumers that prices should fall in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Sales of petrol across Australia are at their highest in the latter half of December, so the fact that prices should be decreasing, albeit from high levels, during a period of high demand will be some comfort to motorists,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“We will be watching closely, as part of our monitoring role, to see that this occurs and will report accordingly.

“It is also important to note that as prices fall, the petrol retailers will move prices at different times, so it will pay to shop around.”

Petrol Price Forecasts: 5 Biggest Cities

The ACCC analysis of petrol price cycles in eastern capital cities found that price cycle length (from most expensive to least expensive) can range between one to seven weeks.

But over in the west, Perth experiences extremely regular cycles where petrol prices are highest on Tuesdays and lowest on Mondays.

“With the exception of Perth, petrol price cycles no longer consist of a weekly price peak and a trough. This can make it difficult for motorists to wait for lower prices before buying petrol.

Taking into account the last 5 price cycles, these are the price cycle lengths for Australia’s five biggest cities, along with the ACCC’s petrol price forecast.


Price Cycle: 7 days at least 

“Prices have recently peaked and are not expected to increase again before Christmas.”


Price Cycle: 26 days at least (based on last 5 cycles)

“In Melbourne, prices peaked on 17 November, but have been only slowly decreasing. We expect this slow decrease to continue in coming weeks. If prices did increase before Christmas, we would expect the increase to not be large.”


Price Cycle: 25 days at least (based on last 5 cycles)

“Prices have recently peaked and are not expected to increase again before Christmas.”


Price Cycle: 14 days at least (based on last 5 cycles)

“Prices have recently peaked and are not expected to increase again before Christmas.”


Price Cycle: 25 days at least (based on last 5 cycles)

“In Perth prices cycles are extremely regular lasting seven days, and we expect that prices will go up Tuesday as usual and be at their cheapest on Monday,” Mr Sims said.

Use Fuel Apps

Mr Sims said motorists should use the increasing number of fuel price apps to decide when and where to buy petrol.

“These apps show that petrol prices do sometimes significantly vary in many buying areas,” he said.

“However, by using new pricing apps to shop at petrol retailers that discount, consumers can shop around to find the best deal.

“This can have a flow-on effect by putting pressure on other retailers to lower prices in their local petrol market.”

Here are some of the free petrol price apps available for Aussie motorists:

Fuel Map Australia

  • Available for Android and iPhone
  • Popularity: Over 100,000 downloads from Google Play Store
  • Crowd-sourced database of petrol stations and fuel prices
  • All across Australia
  • Add current fuel prices to share with other users
  • Fuel log to keep track of fuel purchases and your vehicle’s fuel economy


  • Available for Android and iPhone
  • Popularity: Over 10,000 downloads from Google Play Store
  • See cheapest price near you on map
  • Find out if now is the best time to buy
  • Save your favourite locations and sites
  • Contribute fuel prices to earn credits for rewards
  • View market trends and forecasts in your favourite locations

Woolworths Fuel

  • Available for Android and iPhone
  • Popularity: Over 50,000 downloads from Google Play Store
  • View and compare prices at Caltex Woolworths outlets
  • Find and save multiple locations
  • Access exclusive in-store offers
  • Keep track of Everyday Rewards fuel discount vouchers



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