Sydneysiders should fill up their tank before the long weekend is over, while drivers in some other states would be wiser to wait, the NRMA says.
The advice comes as Easter draws near and the cycle of petrol prices in Sydney approaches its lowest point.
“There are still a few cents that will come off the average price, but then prices will jump,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.
“If you do wait, don’t wait too long.”
He also warned Sydney motorists to make sure they’re getting the cheapest fuel available, as prices can vary by as much as 50 cents per litre depending on the gas station.
The lowest figure before Sydney prices start rising again is expected to be 128 cents per litre.
Sydney is among the five state capitals where petrol prices go up and down in cycles. It’s an arbitrary system set by fuel companies that make prices relatively predictable.
In Brisbane, prices were at their peak at an average of 164.3 cents per litre, Mr Khoury said.
“They’re at their absolute highest – in fact, they’re higher than they should be,” he said.
The average price per litre is 138 cents in Adelaide, 146.1 cents in Melbourne and 126.1 cents in Perth.
Prices are rising in each of those cities, but Wednesday looks like it will be the peak for Perth.
On the other hand, prices in Darwin, Hobart and Canberra are stable because those cities don’t have price cycles.
The Easter predictions come as oil prices are on the rise after a lull in global traffic during the pandemic year of 2020 pushed prices down.
“Last year, petrol prices plummeted because demand for global oil pretty much dried up,” Mr Khoury said.
“It led to prices in Australia dropping to almost 20-year lows.”
But the cheap fuel had an unexpected effect on Aussie drivers: It inspired many to buy premium petrol instead of regular, Mr Khoury said.
“For 75 per cent of drivers that’s totally unnecessary,” he said.
“If you don’t need to buy premium, don’t do it.”
He said a car’s fuel gauge would let the driver know what kind of fuel was needed. Most cars that need premium fuel are either muscle cars, European imports or very old vehicles.
An NRMA analysis shows that motorists who unnecessarily buy premium instead of regular fuel pay on average 23 cents per litre more than they need to.