Looking to fill up? Do it before Christmas
Analysis from the nation’s competition regulator has revealed that petrol prices should fall over the next week in the lead-up to Christmas.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said scrutiny of recent petrol price cycles showed prices have already peaked in many capital cities, meaning they should be falling at a time when demand is at its highest.
In a statement, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said petrol prices had been relatively expensive in the last week and so any fall would provide some relief for motorists.
“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,” he 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.”
The ACCC’s analysis of petrol sales throughout the year revealed that demand for petrol was higher in the weeks leading up to Christmas but fell significantly afterwards.
Demand then tended to pick up again in late January.
Mr Sims said the larger capital cities were primed for price reductions.
“Petrol prices peaked in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane in recent weeks and there should not be a petrol price cycle increase in those cities again before Christmas,” he said.
“Prices have been decreasing slowly in Melbourne and we expect them to continue falling.
“In Perth, price 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 added.
Use fuel price apps: ACCC
The competition watchdog also encouraged motorists to use a range of fuel price apps to ensure they get the best possible deal on petrol in the lead up to Christmas.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said by accessing fuel price apps on smart phones and other devices, consumers could source the cheapest petrol in their area and gain a huge competitive advantage.
“There is significant money to be saved by getting cheaper petrol,” he said.
“It does make their household budget go further, so it’s a very important issue.
“People have a lot of pressures on them, with buying presents, preparing for whatever meal they can put together on Christmas Day, so every bit helps.”