Perth motorists could save themselves $150 a year simply by changing the day they buy their petrol.
A breakdown of the city’s petrol-buying habits by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has revealed Perth’s petrol cycle over the past year has been as regular as clockwork.
Wednesday is the cheapest day of the week to buy purchase petrol, with almost 24 per cent of all fuel bought on that day.
Thursday has been the most expensive day of the week to buy petrol in Perth for the past year, on average 8¢ a litre dearer than on a Wednesday.
Based on the ACCC’s figures, filling up on Thursday rather than Wednesday costs at least $150 a year more.
The ACCC examines the state of the national petrol market every year, finding that through the past 12 months bowser prices were higher and more volatile than last year. in 2011.
But Perth largely defied the increased volatility as the price cycle remained seven days.
However, the commission found that since 2009 the number of days it takes for prices to fall from their peak to their trough has increased.
In 2009, it took about four days for prices to fall from their weekly high point to their low point.
By early this year that had increased to six days, with the commission saying the shape of Perth’s price cycle had “changed substantially” over the past three years.
It means those who buy on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are likely to pay at greater risk of paying more for their fuel than they need to.
Petrol commissioner Joe Dimasi said the figures showed there were clear opportunities for motorists to cut their petrol bill.
“The sharp price rises during a price cycle drives many complaints to the ACCC although it is also the case that many consumers take advantage of the low point in the cycle to purchase petrol,” he said.
The ACCC also effectively cleared petrol stations of gouging motorists in the run-up to public
Going through more than five years of figures, it found that in he case of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, price cycle increases leading to a public holiday were, in more than half of all cases, lower than the usual increase.
In Perth, price increases running up to a holiday were lower than usual in almost two-thirds of all cases.
“There is little evidence to support the claim that price cycle increases before public holidays are always higher than the price cycle increases when there are no public holidays,” the commission found.
The commission also confirmed it is continuing two separate inquiries into the petrol industry, covering the impact of shopper dockets and the sharing of price information among petrol stations.