Petrol prices to surge by 40cents a litre in time for the Easter break

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Easter holidaymakers will be stung by sky-high petrol prices over the long weekend, as retailers jack the cost of fuel up by more than 40c per litre.

Motorists across Australia are already paying up to $169.9 per litre in the days leading up to the holiday break, with further price rises expected this week. 

Prices in Sydney hit 160c on Tuesday morning and could rise again to 170c in the coming days, according to analysts.

Fuel prices in Brisbane have already risen to heights not seen since before the pandemic at 167c, while the top price in Melbourne on Tuesday hit an eye-watering 171.9c - and it's predicated to rise even further.

a car parked in front of a sign: The top price in Melbourne on Tuesday hit an eye-watering 171.9c. Pictured: Fuel prices in Melbourne a week ago on March 23 © Provided by Daily Mail The top price in Melbourne on Tuesday hit an eye-watering 171.9c. Pictured: Fuel prices in Melbourne a week ago on March 23

RACV vehicles senior engineer Nicholas Platt said anyone who filled up for less than 130c per litre paid a fair price because the current wholesale price is 123.2c per litre. 

'The most common price in Melbourne (on Tuesday) is 169.9c per litre and we expect more service stations to raise to this price over the coming days,' he told the Herald Sun.

'In some cases service stations would have put prices up 40c per litre.'

Regional areas have largely been spared from the price hikes.

Ms Platt said cities experience a cyclical pattern where prices rise and fall over a period of weeks, but regional areas follow a more stable pattern. 

He urged drivers to shop around for cheaper prices, or wait until they escape city limits before filling up.

a green sign with white text: Prices in Sydney hit 160c on Tuesday morning and could rise to 170c in the coming days. Pictured: Prices in Sydney on March 10 © Provided by Daily Mail Prices in Sydney hit 160c on Tuesday morning and could rise to 170c in the coming days. Pictured: Prices in Sydney on March 10

According to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, the Australian market is dominated by 'price cycles' - where the cost of fuel will fall steadily for about two weeks, before a sharp increase.

Discounts and surges hit capital cities around the nation at different times, ensuring oil companies achieve higher profit margins consistently throughout the year.  

These price changes are not necessarily related to changes in wholesale prices in a phenomenon that does not exist anywhere else in the world.

The ACCC website showed prices were still increasing on Friday, but it also said research found the price hikes were often a coincidence.

A spokesperson told the publication that previous price examinations during holiday periods was 'on average, no larger than the size of price increases at any other time of the year'.

Petrol price around Australia 

 PERTH

Average: $1.67 a litre

Top: $1.69 a litre

MELBOURNE

Average: $1.56 a litre 

Top: $1.69

SYDNEY

Average: $1.40 a litre 

Top: $1.67 a litre 

BRISBANE

Average: $1.64 a litre 

Top: $1.69  

Petrol prices to surge by 40cents a litre in time for the Easter break