The site informs motorists as to whether the cycle is on the way down or on the way up, and if they should fill up now or delay refuelling if possible.
Price cycles for regular unleaded petrol are displayed for four of the five capital cities, except Sydney, where the E10 ethanol-blended price is tracked.
Charts are updated at midday from Monday to Friday, but Monday’s update includes weekend prices.
Buying advice is updated at the same time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the charts track the price over the preceding 45 days.
For example, the site might advise motorists “prices are decreasing, but are likely to decrease further” therefore “if possible, motorists should delay buying petrol until later”.
The site notes the varying cycles between capital cities, particularly Perth, were Western Australian laws dictate a more rigid price cycle.
“Price cycles are the result of deliberate pricing policies of petrol retailers, and are not directly related to changes in wholesale costs,” the ACCC says.
“The duration of petrol price cycles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide varies from cycle to cycle, and has increased in recent years. In 2014 to date, the average price cycle duration in these cities has ranged from a low of 13 days to a high of 43 days.”
“The petrol price cycle duration in Perth is 7 days.”
The ACCC stresses that prices can fluctuate from time to time (long weekends being a good example), and the service should be used a “general guide” only.
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