Fuel costs are significant for Australian households. To many motorists, apparently random fluctuations in prices and the differences between outlets have made it difficult to find the best price. In 2001 the Western Australian government was concerned about impacts on households and set up a website (Fuel Watch) requiring all fuel retailers to submit their proposed prices by 2pm each day for the next day starting 6am. The aim was to provide an informed marketplace where motorists were less likely to feel misled on prices.
Fuel Watch now contains a large set of data of millions of records. While this is historical, it is natural to ask how this might inform future fuel purchases. This article uses 2017 data from Fuel Watch in providing insights.
The main product types contained in the data include unleaded petrol (ULP), premium unleaded petrol (PULP), unleaded research octane number of 98 (98 RON) and Diesel. Prices for these fuel types aggregated at a daily level for 2017 are displayed in Figure 1.