Many Australians have woken up to record high petrol prices across major capital cities on Monday as more states are emerging from lockdowns this week.

The daily data from MotorMouth show that Sydney average petrol prices are sitting at a record high of 170.4 cents per litre, with Melbourne at 174.7 cents per litre and Brisbane at 178 cents per litre.

The last time petrol prices in Sydney (166.5c/l), Melbourne (166.9c/l) and Brisbane (172.8c/l) were almost this high was mid-2008, just before the global financial crisis smashed oil demand and prices.

CommSec chief economist Craig James told the ABC that strong global oil demand from the reopening of countries and disrupted production levels are to blame.

“Supply isn’t keeping pace with demand,” he said.

“Nymex crude are at seven-year highs.

However, he warned that there are “no signs as yet” that the petrol price has peaked.

“Lower prices will require greater production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+),” he added.

MotorMouth’s figures show fuel in the smaller cities is not yet quite as expensive, with Adelaide (147.5c/l), Perth (152.4c/l), Hobart (166.5c/l), Darwin (160.0c/l) and Canberra (161.7c/l) all cheaper than the three big east coast centres.

However, prices are on the way up around the country. The national average weekly petrol price lifted 6.9 cents last week to a 13-year high of 160.7 cents per litre.

The national average wholesale (TGP) petrol price rose by 3.7 cents last week to 149.0 cents per litre, and is currently sitting at a 13-year high of 151.4 cents per litre.

Compared with the lows of 18 months ago, CommSec said it is costing motorists an extra $56 each time they fill up a 70-litre car with petrol.

Why are some servos cheaper than others?

Petrol prices at the highest in 18 months from increase of supply caps by major producers

Many motorists are scrambling to find a cheaper petrol station to fill up at, as fuel prices are likely to continue climbing in the coming days, and there is a huge gap between the cheapest and most expensive in the market.

But why are there price discrepancies?

Peter Khoury from motoring group the NRMA told the ABC that it is partially due to the price cycles across major capital cities in Australia.

“It is not uncommon to see significant differences in the price of the same fuel across the city,” he said.

For example, the gap between the cheapest and most expensive service stations in Sydney today for regular unleaded is a record 56 cents.”

Mr Khoury said other contributing factors that caused price differences in the same city are competition and marketing strategies.

“Some service stations will compete on price, and they are consistently cheaper, while others consistently sell fuel at higher margins,” he said.

“This is why the NRMA campaigned to get real-time data reforms introduced across NSW.

“Similar policies have been introduced across other states.”

‘Worst time’ for costly petrol

From this week, more freedoms will be embraced by Sydneysiders and Melburnians as further restrictions have been lifted for fully vaccinated people in NSW and Victoria is coming out of the lockdown on Friday.

“These record prices could not have come at a worse time,” Mr Khoury said.

Just as families are getting out and about the city’s economic activity was meant to be ramping up.”

Meanwhile, diesel prices are also rising quickly as gasoil prices climb to $US98 a barrel, with average pump prices for diesel now at 158 cents per litre.

Diesel prices are expected to continue rising as European countries look to use it as a substitute to gas, which has been in short supply.

Extracted in full from: Petrol prices soar to record highs across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – ABC News