The Aussie petrol price lottery

Petrol droplet with dollar signNow that we have a car, we’re obviously buying a lot of petrol. I have to say, the way they price petrol in Australia is insane. It’s cheap enough – compared to the UK, that is – but you never know what the price is going to be one day to the next. They change the prices every day! At least in the UK if fuel was £1 a litre one day, there was a reasonable chance it’d be £1 a litre the next day. Here in Sydney, it might be $1.29 a litre on Wednesday, $1.40 a litre on Thursday, then back down to $1.35 a litre on Friday!

So what gives? According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), petrol prices are subject to all sorts of factors, including international wholesale prices and movements in the exchange rate. But do petrol stations really have to change their prices every single day? Just think of the wasted time and effort changing all those signs each morning! (Well it keeps the petrol station owners fit, I guess.) In fact, sometimes they change prices several times a day! Talk about a lottery.

Anyway, for the record it appears the best time to buy fuel in Sydney is on a Tuesday, and the worst day of the week is Thursday. So now you know.

2 Responses to “The Aussie petrol price lottery”

  1. Carla Says:

    Yeah bizarre! I’m from NZ and also totally blown away by the changes in gas prices. Maybe someone local could explain why this is. But thanks for the advice about buying on Tuesdays. I’ll try that.

  2. Matt Says:

    I think it’s all to do with competition amongst petrol stations, or something. Anyway this new FuelWatch idea that the Government’s proposing should help to even prices out a bit. Though why they can’t just keep prices more stable anyway – like in the UK – is beyond me!

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