FUEL prices are through the roof in the lead up to Christmas with the RACQ predicting they will stay that way into the New Year.
FUEL prices are through the roof in the lead up to Christmas with the RACQ predicting they will stay that way into the New Year. Trevor Veale

$1.46 and rising: Christmas fuel prices to stay high

FUEL prices are up across the country with the peak of the cycle lingering longer than normal heading into the high-demand Christmas week.

"It's not good news at the bowser this Christmas," RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said with prices across South East Queensland averaging $1.46 a litre for unleaded fuel.

Ms Smith said the state's peak motoring body had hoped fuel companies would begin discounting this week, but the 2016 pre-Christmas appeared to be being repeated with discounting grinding to a stop.

Normally at this point of the cycle with prices having peaked, they then drop at the rate of one to two cents a day.

That's not happening with prices having peaked in this cycle and the last at two-year highs following an increase in global oil prices and the terminal gate price.

Ms Smith said it appeared the previous peak had been sustained to ensure this peak coincides with so many of us getting in our cars for holidays or to visit family.

"The last cycle dragged on longer possibly to ensure the most expensive phase going into Christmas," she said.

"Don't expect to see changes to the cycle until well into the first week of the new year."

The only strategy available to motorists is to maintain a keen eye for cheaper prices with Ms Smith saying some outlets would buck the trend.

But shunning overcharging was difficult with prices up across the south east.

"If you see a cheaper servo give it your business," Ms Smith said.

"At the moment it's unfortunate that the vast majority are very expensive."

Gympie to our north is the exception with the unleaded price at $1.37 a litre.

And even though cities run to different price cycles across the country prices are high with Adelaide ($1.41), Canberra ($1.49), Darwin ($1.50), Hobart ($1.45), Melbourne ($1.47), Perth ($1.46) and Sydney ($1.42).



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