Motorists are being urged to fill up now as petrol prices plunge to a two-month low due to coronavirus restrictions slowing global demand.

Commonwealth Bank’s investment arm CommSec said the national average price of unleaded petrol fell 4.8 cents to 117.8 cents per litre last week, with the cost of filling up this time last year 140 to 145 cents per litre.

The current pump prices are the lowest August prices in four years, largely driven by the fall in global oil markets since the coronavirus pandemic.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said global oil prices had found a resting price since the initial crash with oil at $US40-45 per barrel.

“With much of the world now in recession, it would be expected that demand for oil and oil prices would have softened, despite the attempts of oil producers to wind back supply,” he said.

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, metropolitan prices fell 6.7 cents over the week, while regional fuel prices only dropped 1.2 cents.

Mr James warned capital city motorists, particularly those in Melbourne and Sydney, should be filling up now, as prices are likely to be at the bottom of the cycle.

“Sydney and Melbourne prices have fallen for four weeks and now must be at or near the low point of the discounting cycle,” he said.

“If past cycles are anything to go by, petrol could lift 25 cents a litre in a very short space of time, costing motorists around $15 extra to fill up their tanks with fuel.”

For the week ending August 16, Sydney’s average unleaded price was 110.9 cents per litre, while pump prices in Melbourne were 118.9 cents per litre.

Brisbane’s average unleaded price was 123.9 cents per litre at the end of the week and Adelaide bowsers stood at 119.2 cents per litre.

Perth prices were 117.5 cents per litre, while Hobart motorists were paying 124 cents per litre to fill up.

Canberra’s average price for unleaded was 122.5 cents per litre and Darwin drivers were paying 118.2 cents per litre at the pump.

“Constrained petrol prices give motorists extra spending power,” Mr James said.

“For oil producers, the path of COVID-19 is important. If a vaccine is available in coming weeks or months, it would signal a return to some sense of economic normalcy, lifting mobility and therefore fuel demand.”

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