The Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw the automotive fuel series reach a record level in the December quarter - rising 6.6% - due to higher global oil prices amid economic recovery and lower global supply.

Across the nation, the average price for unleaded petrol increased to $1.64 per litre in the December quarter. 

The growth rate in fuel prices was the highest since 1990, and comes after near record-low fuel prices in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

On Tuesday the ABS noted that non-discretionary inflation at 4.5% is higher than the overall CPI of 3.5%, and more than twice the rate of discretionary inflation at 1.9%.

Non-discretionary inflation includes goods and services that are essential including food, automotive fuel, housing and health costs, meaning households are less likely to reduce their consumption of these goods and services.

APAC economist at global job site Indeed Callam Pickering said fuel prices continue to rise sharply, up 6.6% in the quarter and up 32% compared with a year ago.

“Rising prices of non-discretionary items always create a headache for households given it can be difficult to reduce those expenditures or substitute to other cheaper products,” Mr Pickering said.

In the RBA’s December 2021 board meeting, inflation was described as “low in underlying terms”.

CommBank's head of Australian economics and market research Gareth Aird said it would not be 'credible' to continue with the current characterisation of inflation as “low in underlying terms”.

Average Petrol Prices Quarterly.jpg

Aussies spending $2,000 annually on fuel seek alternatives

Research published Tuesday by car subscription provider Carbar found Australians are spending just shy of $2,000 annually on petrol.

Carbar’s Future Finance and Mobility Report found escalating petrol prices - which hit a seven-year high last year - will see one in three Australians consider motoring alternatives in the next two years including an electric vehicle.

In the survey of 1,000 Australian car owners aged over 21, 68% agreed that the increase in the price of petrol in 2021 has put a lot of strain on their budget, with 36% 'strongly' agreeing.

Further, 34% agreed that the price of petrol and recent increases have made them more likely to consider buying an electric vehicle in the next two years.

This research comes off the back of a bumper year for electric vehicles in 2021, with a near 200% increase in sales annually.

Carbar CEO and co-founder Des Hang said rising petrol prices are encouraging more Australians to look into EVs.

“With many EVs still costing Australians over $40,000 to own, there is some hesitancy,” Mr Hang said.

“More affordable alternatives like subscription products, are filling this gap, but we will start to see real momentum as EV prices start to fall and we grow further awareness in subscription as an alternative.”

See Also: Compare Affordable Electric Cars

In the market for a new car? The table below features green car loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for low-emissions vehicles.


FixedNew1 yearMore details
Approval within 24 hours
  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
Approval within 24 hours

Green Car Loan Fixed

  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
FixedNew, Used7 yearsMore details

Hybrid and Electric Car Loan

    VariableNew99 yearsMore details

    Green Car Loan

      VariableNew99 yearsMore details

      Electric Vehicle Loan-New Car Loan

        FixedNew, Used3 yearsMore details

        Green Fixed Rate Car Loan

          Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

          All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

          The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

          Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of June 16, 2024. View disclaimer.

          Image by PH B via Unsplash.