Motorists have been warned to fill up soon with petrol prices set for a “rapid increase”.

Experts predict a price jump will hit the region in line with Melbourne’s steady rise.

RACV senior vehicle engineer Nicholas Platt said the Geelong market was expected to follow the same price cycle as the metropolitan market.

“RACV expects the average price to rapidly increase as it follows a similar fuel price cycle as Melbourne,” he said.

Prices for unleaded fuel across the Geelong region varied wildly on Monday, ranging from 107.9c a litre at United Geelong West and 108.9c at Woolworths Drysdale to 115c at 7/11 services stations on La Trobe Terrace and Sydney Parade and 145.9c at Coles Express outlets in North Geelong and Norlane and BP in Norlane.

“We would urge all motorists to avoid driving in search of cheap fuel and instead use a fuel price finder,” Mr Platt said.

Apco director Peter Anderson said his company would watch prices “day by day”.

“I think prices find their way up among the $1.30 with competition and settle somewhere around that price range,” he said.

“Geelong usually ends up finishing off a little cheaper than Melbourne.”

News of an expected price surge comes months after prices dropped to their lowest in years, due to an ongoing Russian-Saudi Arabian oil price war and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with some drivers filling up at 84c a litre.

“Right now, Apco will continue to monitor what is going on in the marketplace and adjust accordingly,” Mr Anderson said.

He said rising prices were often the result of some business owners losing fuel revenue due to stay-home orders and social distancing restrictions banning people leaving home except for essential reasons.

“We saw a customer drop off at the beginning of the lockdowns, and we’re starting to see it again now with Melbourne on lockdown,” he said.

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