Shop around to get the cheapest petrol prices

motormouth.pngIf you want to save money on your petrol costs, you need to shop around to find which of your local service stations is the cheapest. And plan ahead to make sure you buy at the cheap time of the week too.

You can search for cheap petrol prices in you area using independent website MotorMouth, which tracks prices from around 3,500 petrol stations across Australia, and updates prices twice daily. 

If you register at the site you can get a free daily email alert or sign up for the paid SMS service.

The SMS service costs a minimum of $4.95, which gets you 20 SMS credits. You'll need to nominate up to 25 service stations in your list of Favourites. When you SMS for a price, it will send back the details of the six servos on your Favourites list which have the cheapest current petrol prices.
If you happen to be with Telstra's NextG mobile network however, you have access to this information for free. In the browser menu of Telstra services, select the Travel section and then My Fuel.

MotorMouth covers Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Prices are updated twice a day at around 8.15am (9am on Sunday) and 3pm in the afternoon.

So what kind of savings can you expect? A web search of my postcode turned up 6 local servos, and there was a 5c/L price difference between the cheapest and the most expensive. But the prices can vary a great deal more than that across the city - according to MotorMouth, Sydney's cheapest recorded price for unleaded petrol today was 130.9c, and the highest was 146.9c.

After the jump, we have a couple of tips from MotorMouth for finding cheap petrol prices - including which day is the cheapest for buying petrol.

MotorMouth spokesperson Alan Price says most states (excluding WA) have a 1 week petrol pricing cycle, with price rises of 9-14c/L generally happening on a Wednesday or Thursday. The prices then decrease incrementally over the week. His advice is to refuel on a Tuesday to beat that rise. WA is on a two week pricing cycle - so your best bet is to work out when the price changes occur and time your purchase accordingly.

His other tip is to shop around when you're using petrol dockets from supermarkets. Make sure that the servo you're using is the cheapest. There's no point in saving 4c/L if the petrol station with a docket if the petrol is is 8c more expensive than the servo around the corner!


    If you will also want to steer away from service stations that are now imposing additional fees for the use of credit cards.

    In August 2002 the Reserve Bank of Australia released three credit card related reforms. One of these removed credit card rules that prevented merchants from recouping the cost of merchant service fees directly from consumers who purchased goods or services using a credit card. This means that from 1 January 2003 consumers could be charged an additional fee when they purchase goods or services with their credit card.

    Additionally Caltex (including Woolworths/Safeway co-branded) service stations have started applying these fees to sales:

    The bottomline - Caveat Emptor!

    Great post and spot on. I am in the middle of writing a post on this topic and will include a link back to this post on my blog ( Great blog as well and I will be subscribing to it.

    Hi. Great page. Many thanks for the advice on petrol prices. I own a large 4WD and it is costing me a fortune. These tips will save me heaps.

    For interest, I came across a site during my search for info on petrol prices called They haven't launched yet but it seems they are bringing people together to create buying power. They say they have included petrol in their products and can provide savings of up to 15cpl for new members.

    Do you know anything about this? I think it will provide more benefits than Fuel Watch and it is definitely better to have the oil companies provide the discount than the Government [we just pay for those!].

    I've certainly registered. Seems like there is nothing to lose!!

    Keep up the great work. Love your site.


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