Fuel prices for Christmas revealed

Fuel prices in Sydney are continuing to climb. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Christmas has come early for commuters this year, with fuel prices in most capital cities trending downwards just in time for the silly season.

After a horror September period, drivers can expect less stress at the bowser during December.

The only outlier thus far, Sydney.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the petrol price cycle for the NSW capital was on an upwards trajectory and there were fears it might extend through Christmas.

“Unfortunately, Sydney’s price cycle is heading up,” Mr Khoury said.

“We were at the bottom of the cycle at the start of the week, but it’s heading up as we run into Christmas.”

The average price of unleaded in Sydney sits at about $1.81 per litre, with prices varying as much as 60 cents per litre across the city.

JANA CEO Georgina Dudley
Fuel price are falling except in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone

Mr Khoury said the “pot luck” that was the Sydney petrol price cycle showed forecasts suggesting average unleaded prices could reach just under $2.10 in December.

“It will start to fall slowly just prior to Christmas,” he reassured.

He said the NRMA was keeping an eye on Sydney’s fluctuations, concerned the current cycle may extend through to the Christmas period.

His advice to travellers is to avoid fuelling up in Sydney all together.

For the rest of the country, however, prices are easing, with Adelaide residents benefiting from “exceptionally” low rates.

Petrol pumps across Adelaide are demanding $1.69 on average, an indication that prices have bottomed out, according to Mr Khoury.

“We suspect that Adelaide has gotten to the bottom of its cycle, so Adelaide is exceptionally cheap right now,” he said.

There is a 60 cent variance between the most expensive and cheapest petrol stations in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
Seven Eleven Stock
Melbourne and Adelaide residents are seeing low prices at the bowser. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicki Connolly

The average unleaded price in Brisbane and Perth is on the more expensive side, sitting at about $1.97 per litre collectively.

Mr Khoury said Perth was in the midst of a price slide, in accordance with their unique fortnightly price cycle, after it spiked on Tuesday.

Unleaded prices will dip before the Christmas break in Brisbane and Melbourne, with the average in Melbourne at the moment $1.87 per litre.

Hobart, Darwin and Canberra don’t have independent price cycles like the rest of the country, instead following global and wholesale prices that sit at about $1.72, a fall of 25 cents from September.

Adelaide residents have seen the biggest drop in the average unleaded price, which sits just under $1.70 per litre. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Emma Brasier

Mr Khoury said large regional cities in NSW, Victoria and Queensland were starting to adopt the price cycles of their capital cities, with Wollongong and the Central Coast also anticipating prices hikes for unleaded.

Despite the good news for most of the country, Mr Khoury said any unexpected global events could cause price spikes for petrol in Australia.

“The trends since September has been for wholesale prices to continue falling, but again, it’s oil, it’s one of the most volatile commodities on the open market,” he said.

“Anything that happens overseas can have an effect here at home.”

To get the best value out of their fuel, commuters are being urged to remove any unnecessary heavy items from the boot while travelling to reduce the load of the car.

Avoiding idle driving, which wastes battery, or driving at high speed with the window down, which creates more drag on the car, is also suggested.