‘Fill up ASAP’: Motorists warned ahead of petrol spike

Motorists are urged to fill up now.

Motorists are urged to fill up now. Photo: Getty

Australia’s motorists have been urged to make beeline to the bowser to fill up with petrol with prices tipped to jump as much as 40 cents a litre.

Petrol prices could hit $2.15 a litre in coming weeks as capital cities return to the top of their fuel cycles and the return of the fuel excise to its full value properly kicks in.

“For a few days now, there will be some bargains as some locations are slower to spike,” Joel Gibson from consumer advocacy group One Switch said on Thursday.

“Use the fuel price apps to find them, and fill up ASAP.

“With the fuel tax returning and OPEC+ cutting oil production recently by two million barrels a day, it’s hard to imagine we will see prices below $1.80 again for some time.”

Prices were already on the move in Adelaide on Thursday, spiking to about $2 dollars a litre – their highest level since July.

“It’s not easy,” said one motorist.

“You do the best you can, but it would be really good if we could get these fuel prices down to something a bit more reasonable.”

“It’s hard on the pocket with everything else that’s going on,” another said.

Royal Automobile Association South Australia Mark Borlace senior manager told Nine News: “What we’re going to see now is these sort of prices become the norm, or even higher at the top of the spikes,”

Petrol has already spiked to about $2 dollars a litre in Adelaide, and may rise further. Image: Getty

Cities on the east coast have neared the bottom of their fuel cycles this week, meaning petrol prices will hit a floor before returning back up again.

Capital-city prices have been creeping up since the fuel excise cut introduced by the previous government ended on September 29.

Prices have varied wildly between retailers since, with reports of Melbourne servos just kilometres apart showing different prices of up to 40 cents a litre.

On Thursday, some service stations were still offering cheap deals, so it was worth shopping around.

Apps such as MotorMouth and Fueltrac can also help drivers to find the best prices. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission research showed they can help drivers save up to $520 annually on fuel.

Small, independent petrol stations are often cheaper than larger ones.

According to the ACCC, customers who buy only from small retailers can save about $350 a year.

The recent decision by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+) to slash oil output is expected to add further pressure to petrol prices.

A fortnight ago, OPEC+ said it would cut production by two million barrels a day. It said it was slashing production in case demand for oil slowed.

Governments worldwide are releasing stocks from strategic oil reserves to push down prices and tame inflation. However, the OPEC+ cuts will work against that.

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