Drivers are being warned of a rapid rise in petrol prices, with fuel costs to soar over the school holidays.

But savvy shoppers can still drive a deal as fuel costs vary wildly between retailers.

RACV’s price map showed the highest recorded price for unleaded petrol hit $1.66 per litre in Melbourne on Sunday while the lowest was $1.18.

Sunday’s average was $1.41 per litre after staying steady last week between $1.26 and $1.27.

RACV vehicle engineering manager Michael Case said motorists should get in quick and find service stations offering petrol on the lower end of the fuel price cycle.

“The advice is fill up now,” he said. “It does look like the beginning of a new fuel cycle with a peak of $1.65 — very similar to what happened three weeks ago.”

Mr Case said it was a rare situation with prices “all over the place”.

Competing service stations in Hampton Park, in Melbourne’s southeast, were advertising unleaded petrol for $1.66 and $1.24 on Sunday, across the road from each other on the South Gippsland Highway.

Truck driver Dennis Luke said he was shocked when he saw the 41c difference in price, which would equal more than $20 to fill up 50 litres.

“That is the cost of a movie ticket,” he said.

“I drive trucks all over Melbourne so I see it first-hand. Especially during school holidays, you don’t need to be spending extra money. It is not fair on the average motorists.”

Mr Case said the low point of Melbourne’s most recent fuel price cycle appeared to be last Tuesday, indicating a sharp rise was on the way.

Extracted from Herald Sun