Warrnambool motorists are paying almost 20 cents more per litre for unleaded fuel than they were just over a month ago, in a price rise the RACV has described as significant.
Head of communications and engagement Andrew Scannell said Warrnambool motorists were paying similar prices at the bowser to their Melbourne counterparts.
"Warrnambool drivers have seen a significant rise in the average price of unleaded petrol, with prices as low as 147.7 cents per litre (cpl) back on October 5, compared to the average of 167.3 cpl on Tuesday," Mr Scannel said.
He said in Warrnambool and Port Fairy on Tuesday, the best price at some outlets was 158.4 cpl.
On Wednesday in Warrnambool prices sat around 159.9 cpl for unleaded and 157.9 cpl for diesel.
Camperdown, Terang, Portland and Hamilton prices were not available.
The price hike is due to increased worldwide demand for crude oil, which is used to produce petrol, as countries increasingly return to their 'normal' pre-COVID level operations, as well as other factors.
The last time petrol reached these heights in the city was October 2018 when unleaded was 161 cpl.
Mr Scannell said the average price for unleaded fuel had remained steady in Warrnambool over the past fortnight, fluctuating between 167.9 cpl on November 2 and 167.3 cpl on Tuesday.
"Prices in Warrnambool are similar to those available in Melbourne... When filling up a tank of up to 40 litres, this can represent a rise of up to $10," Mr Scannell said.
He said more rises were possible across the state and it was difficult to predict what prices would do going forward, including in lead-up to the Christmas holiday period.
Mr Scannell said the Australian fuel market was continually influenced by external factors including; geographical area, availability, international benchmark prices, the value of the Australian dollar relative to the US dollar, levels of competition in different areas, wholesale prices and taxes.
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Peter Anderson runs a number of Victorian APCO outlets with his brother Robert and dad Ron in areas including Warrnambool, Bendigo, Ballarat, Wodonga and Bairnsdale.
On Wednesday he was charging 159.9 cpl for unleaded and 155.9 cpl for diesel.
Mr Anderson said he refused to "exploit the market and exploit the situation".
"I set the price based on my competitors and what my margins are," Mr Anderson said.
"We have a policy to go to a certain margin and that way I make money. At the end of the day we pay our bills but I'm not going to put it at an insulting price and exploit the situation.
Despite Melbourne prices hovering around 190 cpl and "close to the $2 mark", he said he would keep his city outlet prices around 170 to 175 cpl, or less.
"It's watch this space,' he said. "Our prices have been moving up because our buying price has been moving up. The world pricing is out of our control unfortunately.
"All my competitors are in the same boat. The prices continue to rise.
"We've seen it stabilise a bit in the last few days and it's dropped a little bit. With what I've seen and on the projections it might be the calm before the storm again."
Mr Anderson said the rise was due to global oil pricing and what was going on overseas. "The barrel is going up. The Australian dollar has been strong which has kept things a bit better.
"I can't predict it. It's like trying to back a racehorse. We've got no idea what's going to happen overseas, that's what it's controlled by," Mr Anderson said.
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