SUV sales hit record high
Popular: SUV sales hit record high. Picture: Guy McGowan/ The West Australian

West Australians are buying 101 SUVs a day, new figures show, with hopes petrol prices will soon fall and make it even cheaper to drive the new cars.

Since February last year, West Australians have bought a record 37,000 SUVs, 23 per cent higher than in the previous 12 months.

Nationally, more than 313,000 SUVs have been snapped up over the year as falling prices and new entrants attract buyers to the market.

SUVs are not the only vehicles attracting buyers' interest. Sales of buses, vans and trucks are at record highs.

It has come at the expense of passenger car sales, which have fallen almost 2 per cent since early last year. Before the global financial crisis, Australians were buying almost 640,000 passenger cars but annual sales are now at 575,000.

The surge in SUV sales has accompanied caryard discounting, new lower-priced entrants and the continuing lift in real Australian wages.

Filling those vehicles with petrol cost, on average, 147.6¢ a litre in Perth last week, according to Australian Institute of Petroleum figures.

It was the second consecutive week that average prices in Perth fell, at odds with a 1.3¢ a litre increase in the national price to 151.2¢.

Despite the fall, prices are still well up on mid- January when they stood at just over 138¢.

CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said the vagaries of the weekly discounting cycle made it difficult to discern the next fall in prices.

But with the wholesale petrol price down more than 5¢ a litre over the past month, there was clearly scope for retail prices to fall further.

Mr James expected a national average fall of 2-3¢ a litre in retail petrol prices over the next week.

The West Australian

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