Working Families Pay Less for Petrol on “Cheap Tuesdays”


An Australian Automobile Association analysis of petrol price cycles in the eastern mainland capital cities reveals that motorists can pay a lot less for petrol by buying on “Cheap Tuesdays”.

AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris, said a saving of one cent per litre could mean motorists as a whole would save $200 million a year.  And savings of more than this can be achieved by buying at the bottom of the regular weekly price cycle.

“We have been looking at the price cycles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and can see that the average retail price is typically lower on Tuesday in each of these mainland capital cities, compared to any other day of the week,” Mr Harris said.

“The price cycle in these capital cities is a weekly one and the analysis shows that the average difference between the peak and the trough was 8.9cpl in 2007.”

Mr Harris said the ‘predictive nature’ of the weekly cycle means motorists can pay less for petrol simply by buying on “Cheap Tuesday”.  He also noted that the length of the cycle and the difference between the peak and the trough was an indicator of the high degree of competition in the petrol market.

“There is no doubt that the predictable weekly cycle gives the price conscious motorist the opportunity to take advantage of low prices on Tuesdays,” he said.

Additional ANOP market research shows that 88% of motorists are aware that petrol is cheaper on certain days, with 71% of these nominating Tuesday as the cheapest day.

“Motorists are not mugs” said Mr Harris, adding that “the majority of motorists are voting with their feet and actually buying on Tuesdays.”

Information contained in the ACCC Report on ‘Petrol Prices and Australian Consumers’ (December 2007) confirms that motorists do in fact buy on “Cheap Tuesday”, with sales volumes in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide all being significantly higher on Tuesday compared to any other day of the week.

“Lower prices on Tuesdays, coupled with high volumes is a simple equation that translates to working families being able to save money each year by taking advantage of the existing, predictable price cycles,” said Mr Harris.

“Further analysis reveals that 76% of motorists buy fuel at least once a week. A weekly cycle gives these motorists the opportunity to always buy at the low point of the cycle.”

The savings presented by this opportunity can translate into millions of dollars for motorists as a whole. In 2007, motorists purchased almost 20,000 million litres of petrol. A saving of just one cent per litre – and greater amounts than this can be saved by buying at the bottom of the cycle – therefore translates into savings of $200 million over a year.


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