Sydney motorists can expect to fork out more for petrol than they have almost a year as prices soar to pre-COVID levels.
Prices in the city are tipped to reach average highs of 153 cents a litre – the highest prices since February last year.
The NRMA said an increased demand for fuel aligned with the rising economic optimism driven by the start of the global vaccine rollout and the easing of restrictions.
The OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has also maintained cuts to oil production.
The last time Sydney motorists experienced prices higher than 150 cents a litre was February 18 last year, just over a week before Australia declared the coronavirus would become a global pandemic, while extending its travel ban on visitors from China.
Sydney prices were as high as 164.9 cents a litre in Girraween on Monday, but the NRMA found unleaded was priced as low as 111.9 at Yagoona, in the city’s southwest.
“We saw throughout 2020 that oil companies needed no excuse when it came to exposing Australians to higher petrol prices than what we should have been paying, and now that global demand for fuel is rising faster than supply we are concerned that things will now worsen,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.
“That’s not to say prices should be as high as some retailers are pushing them – there’s a price discrepancy of 53 cents across western Sydney alone – and this discrepancy is almost unique to Australia.”
Those on the Tweed Coast were caught spending 163.9 cents a litre (for unleaded) during the last week of February, compared to 133.9 for Sydneysiders and 142.4 cents per litre for motorists filling up in Wollongong.
The cheapest locations for unleaded fuel were Gunnedah (122.1), Orange (123.6) and West Wyalong (123.9).
According to the NRMA, unleaded petrol is expensive in Newcastle (139.3), and Broken Hill or Grafton (137.9).
Meanwhile, over the past week the average Mogas (ethanol free fuel) price rose 1.2 cents per litre.
Average regular unleaded prices rose 9.4 cents per litre are now expected to peak at 153 cents per litre over the coming week.
Speaking to NCA NewsWire Mr Khoury said the price rise would be a common theme across the country.
Petrol prices reached 149.4 in Adelaide on Tuesday, up from 123 cents just a few days ago, he said.
“Prices are going up very quickly,” Mr Khoury said.
Melbourne has hit 141 cents per litre, jumping almost 20 cents in the last week alone.
Prices are down in Perth however at 120.5 cents, but Mr Khoury said Tuesdays were the cheapest day in the Western Australian capital.
“Prices will spike tomorrow, Wednesday is the most expensive day of the week,” he said.
Petrol prices are actually slowly declining in Brisbane after reaching 157 cents. Brisbane is sitting at 143 cents per litre.
“Make sure you do your research before you fill up,” he said.
“We’re seeing prices in the 160’s but we’re also still seeing some bargains.”