It’s time to fill up the tank! Experts warn a petrol price hike is on the way

Jun 02, 2020
Petrol prices have already started to increase, and experts say they will only rise more in the coming days. Source: Getty

This week has brought good news for Aussies with the easing of lockdown restrictions across much of the country and intrastate travel now back on the agenda, but experts have warned if you’re thinking of hitting the road this long weekend you might want to fill up quickly, as petrol prices begin to rise.

During the pandemic the cost of petrol dropped significantly, with the cheapest recorded in Adelaide at an average of 108 cents per litre. But, unfortunately it seems it may have been a short-lived relief to the bank account, with noticeable jumps in prices throughout most of Australia ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, which is observed in all states apart from Queensland and Western Australia.

This week Compare the Market released it’s latest quarterly petrol analysis, along with predictions for future petrol prices and sadly, the daily price falls experienced recently are expected to slow, meaning if you haven’t already filled up the tank, you better do it soon.

“During the height of the pandemic, petrol prices were at the lowest we had seen in decades,” Abigail Koch, household savings expert said. “Our analysis shows that motorists paid an average of 113 cents per litre for unleaded petrol over the last quarter – 25 cents per litre less than in the March quarter. Motorists in Canberra paid the most, with a quarterly average of 122 cents per litre, while Adelaide had the cheapest petrol at 108 cents per litre.

“[However] With travel restrictions across the country easing as of June, we advise motorists to shop around for the cheapest petrol in their area ahead of the long weekend, or if they’re taking a road trip, pinpoint petrol stops along to secure the lowest prices.”

This quick rise in petrol prices has angered Aussies, with many claiming petrol stations have taken advantage of people during this difficult time. Speaking about the issue on Sunrise on Tuesday morning, political journalist Sharri Markson said petrol companies have been “irresponsible” in their actions of late.

“I think the petrol companies have been so irresponsible and unfair throughout this whole crisis,” she said. “They really took a long time to bring down prices, and they weren’t brought down enough given how cheap oil has been around the world. So, we all know this, we don’t need a consumer watchdog to tell us, the petrol companies, it doesn’t matter what the price of oil is, they just take advantage of motorists.”

Other Aussies agreed, with some taking to social media to voice their opinions.

“Always convenient timing with this sort of thing,” one person commented on Facebook. “Any way to screw over the Australian people.” While another said: “Why doesn’t this surprise me. It was so cheap when we couldn’t go anywhere, but hey now we can. Watch the prices go up. Bloody unreal!”

Thankfully though, Compare the Market has offered a helping hand to Aussies wanting to get away this weekend and revealed the cheapest places to fill up the tank in the major cities across Australia. But the main piece of advice from experts is to head to the petrol station immediately, because prices will rise soon.


Over the quarter to June, Sydney motorists paid an average of 116 cents per litre for unleaded petrol, compared to 140 cents per litre in the previous quarter. And thankfully, some petrol stations are still selling for a reasonable price.

As of Monday, Compare the Market identified Croydon Park and Strathfield South as the cheapest places to fill up, with prices sitting at 97 cents per litre. As for other petrol stations, most major retailers – except for Costco – are pricing their fuel within a few cents of each other, so if you hunt around you’re bound to find a good deal.


Melbourne motorists paid an average of 26 cents per litre less for ULP in the quarter to June, at 113 cents per litre compared with the quarter to March. Now, drivers can find the lowest price at Montmorency, with a price of 92 cents per litre.


The average quarterly price for ULP in Brisbane over the recent quarter was 114 cents per litre – 27 cents per litre lower than in the quarter to March. Today, you’ll find the cheapest ULP in Brisbane in Darra, with prices sitting at 97 cents per litre.


Motorists in Adelaide paid the least for ULP across the country in the quarter to June, with a quarterly average of 108 cents per litre, compared with 134 cents per litre in the quarter to March. Meanwhile, as of Monday, Adelaide Airport had the cheapest ULP at 93 cents per litre.


Perth motorists paid an average of 109 cents per litre for ULP over the quarter to June, which was 23 cents per litre than the quarter to March. Now residents will find the cheapest at Perth Airport with a price of just 90 cents per litre. And they urged drivers to fill up immediately as prices between retailers can differ between five to 10 cents per litre at the height of the price cycle.


Despite Canberra once again reporting the most expensive quarterly average ULP prices in the country at 122 cents per litre, this was 21 cents per litre less than in the quarter to March. Now residents in the country’s capital will find the cheapest petrol at Amaroo, with 104 cents per litre. But, get in quick, because apparently prices have been slowly rising since May 10.

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Have you noticed petrol prices increasing? Are you planning to head off this long weekend for a few days away?

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