The pockets of Perth motorists will be hit even harder as the number of “cheap” fill-up days is set to be slashed amid record-high prices.
FuelWatch is warning the weekly fill-up day will be cut to just every second Tuesday, as major petrol outlets begin conforming to a fortnightly cycle.
Prices are expected to jump by 40c per litre on Wednesdays following cheap Tuesdays.
The industry watchdog says major brands — blamed for starting the new cycle — have offered no explanation to the price hikes.
“This latest change in the cycle will make it more difficult for Perth motorists to find cheaper petrol if they fill up every week,” FuelWatch manager Ben Derecki said.
“For those who fill up fortnightly, it may be possible to time those visits to the petrol station to coincide with the bottom of the price cycle every second Tuesday, but that task is more difficult for those who need to fill up more regularly.
“We would suggest that motorists who need to fill-up mid-cycle consider only partially filling their vehicle until they can fill-up closer to the bottom of the two-week price cycle.”
The currently weekly fuel cycle has been in place across Perth and Mandurah since 2009.
RAC’s manager of vehicles and fuels Alex Forrest said the change appeared to be a price grab by the retailers.
“While we’ll need to see how prices change in the days and weeks ahead, it would seem fuel retailers are looking for a new way of boosting their bottom lines at a time when household budgets are under increasing pressure,” he said.
“The major fuel retailers which lead Perth’s fuel cycle must come out and explain to motorists why they are doing this.
“Motorists are already grappling with record high petrol prices and a changing fuel cycle will only make it more difficult to fill-up on the cheapest day — particularly if you refuel weekly.
“Fuel is a constant expense for WA households and it’s becoming more and more expensive to simply move around our State.”
The next cheap Tuesday is expected to be next Tuesday, October 19.
Last Wednesday saw the all-time record set for unleaded petrol in Perth, with an average of 141.1 cents per litre.
Drivers can head to the mobile compatible www.fuelwatch.wa.gov.au site to find the cheapest fuel in their area on any given day.