Petrol prices have started reaching levels not seen for more than a decade and motorists are being urged to fill up now. Northern suburbs outlets are this morning advertising prices at $1.85/L

Petrol prices have almost hit a record $1.86 in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, with other metropolitan service stations expected to follow suit within days.

Three service stations jacked their prices up on Tuesday afternoon to the highest levels since before the pandemic began 18 months ago.

Caltex at Salisbury Downs kicked off with 185.9c for a litre of unleaded, with nearby Coles and OTR service stations quickly following suit.

The three remained on their own until Tuesday evening, with other service stations across the metropolitan area keeping their prices around $1.46.

Outlets at Victor Harbor were advertising prices at 161.9c/L on Wednesday morning, as well as high prices in the Barossa region, including 170.9c/L at Lyndoch.

The RAA, which closely monitors fuel prices, warned it was part of an elaborate ruse which would see the lower prices remain for around 48 hours before they shot up later in the week.

Spokesman Mark Borlace urged motorists to fill up while the prices were around $1.46, saying they would not last another 48 hours.

Mr Borlace said it was the start of an artificial price cycle, which would create the highest prices seen in the state in a decade – if not on record.

“If you are a canny buyer you can make hay while the sun shines,” he said.

“Fill up now, make the tank last as long as you can and fill up again when the price drops back down, which will be around two weeks away.”

Mr Borlace said the higher petrol prices were being caused by a global increase in the price of crude oil, driven by OPEC and Russia.

“We have seen the price of crude go up by $US13 a barrel in the past couple of weeks,” he said.

“Before Covid, it was $US73 a barrel, then it got down to $US20 a barrel when planes stopped flying and nobody was driving cars.

“OPEC and Russia have got the cartel going again and have decided to drive the price back up to $US83 a dollar, more than it was before Covid.”

Mr Borlace said the higher price of crude meant it was costing service stations such as OTR around $1.49 wholesale for each litre of petrol produced at the Birkenhead refinery.

“If you are buying it for $1.46, it is a cheaper price than what they are buying it for wholesale so they will keep it low and then jack it up for a couple of weeks to get their money back,” he said.

Mr Borlace said SA had shorter petrol price cycles than other states like Victoria and NSW, which tended to keep prices higher for longer.

Extracted in full from: Adelaide petrol prices at record highs, $1.85/L this morning | The Advertiser (