Petrol prices in all capital cities except Adelaide are expected to fall from near-record highs as the Easter weekend approaches, according to experts.
Motorists outside the South Australian capital were advised to delay filling up until closer to Good Friday to get the best possible deal.
“The other capitals are at slow falls,” National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) spokesman Peter Khoury said.
“Adelaide might go up a little bit more.
“If you can stay out of the servos for now, do that.”
Finding a cheaper deal will be all the more important because national average petrol prices remain at a two-and-a half-year high of $1.48 per litre, after rising by about 10 cents last week.
Prices 12 months ago were as low as $1.18 per litre.
But this spike was unrelated to Easter, Mr Khoury said, as it was no longer the case that petrol prices rose immediately before public holidays.
“The days of prices automatically going up for the holidays are behind us,” he said.
“It’s potluck about where you land in the cycle.”
Prices in Australia’s capital cities typically fluctuate on a two- or three-week cycle of peaks and troughs – except Perth which has a weekly cycle.
Ryan Felsman, a senior economist at CommSec, said Australian petrol prices had risen since mid-2017 because of global factors.
“That’s been off the back of increasing crude [oil] prices globally,” he said.
The price pain would likely continue beyond Easter, Mr Felsman said.
He added that many retailers continue to charge about 12 cents more per litre of petrol than the wholesale price.
But NRMA’s Mr Khoury said blaming retailers for jacking up prices over the holidays did not take into account the full impacts of “a spaghetti bowl of factors” that affect price.
Some bargains could still be found, even at the highest point of the cycle, by looking for discount petrol stations or using an online tool to track prices, Mr Khoury said.
New South Wales residents can access the app Fuel Check, which provides real-time prices enabling consumers to track down the best deal nearby.
The news is somewhat better for diesel drivers with prices stagnant.