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No cause for Xmas price hike: NRMA

Author: CJ LeggettDate: 21 December 2011

Motorists are being encouraged to hold off on filling up the family car until Boxing Day if possible, with prices expected to hit an average of $1.35 cents per litre early next week.

NRMA Motoring & Services' analysis of Christmas fuel prices has found prices this Friday should reach around $1.39 cents per litre on average and drop to the weekly low on Boxing Day.

Families are being discouraged from filling up next Wednesday when prices reach the average high-point of $1.47 cents per litre.

A consistent weekly price cycle no longer exists in Sydney with the cheapest day changing week by week. The last time Sydney experienced a consistent cycle for two weeks in a row or more was in May.

NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said the public would not tolerate any unnecessary price hikes over the holiday season.

"If recent price movements in Sydney are anything to go by then we know that prices should remain stable leading up to Christmas, drop on Boxing Day then spike next Wednesday," Ms Machin said.

"There have been no significant movements in the Australian dollar or Mogas prices to justify a sudden Christmas price hike."

"The movements in the weekly cycle in Sydney means buying petrol at the right time could save a family as much as 15 cents per litre so we are encouraging families to fill up on Boxing Day if they can."

The NRMA is again calling on the ACCC to investigate the ad hoc nature of the price cycle in Sydney.

"While Australia can't control the factors which lead to these fluctuations, we need to end our dependence on this volatile product and Governments need to do something about it," Ms Machin said.

"A home-grown alternative fuel industry along with a combination of electric vehicles could help reduce the instability around fuel prices, create jobs and boost consumer confidence."

"We have the resources and raw materials here – it's time to invest in them and develop a bold Alternative Fuels Strategy."

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