The average price of fuel in Orange hasn't just crept towards 150 cents per litre in the last three weeks, it's also edged closer to a five-year high and the NRMA is predicting it will continue climbing over the coming months.
Some small relief is predicted later in the month, however with the terminal gate price and worldwide demand for oil increasing, longer-term it appears motorists will be forking out more cash to fill up not just in Orange but the entire region too.
The average price of regular unleaded fuel and diesel has steadily increased in Orange since bottoming out at around 80 cents per litre during the COVID-19 pandemic's height last year, at one stage the former was the cheapest in NSW.
According to Fuel Check, as of about noon on Friday neither fuel was available in Orange for less than 140 cents per litre, with most prices marked closer to $1.45 or $1.50 marks, also a trend observed across the Central West.
The average price of unleaded fuel in Orange was 147.41 cents per litre, which was slightly higher than the average in Bathurst (144.63) but slightly lower than the average in Dubbo which had reached the $1.50 mark exactly.
The average cost of diesel per litre in Orange was 147.23 cents, marginally higher than that of Bathurst (146.3) and Dubbo (146.21).
"Right now, Orange's prices are just shy of a five-year high. While it's not unprecedented it is quite for the region," NRMA spokesperson John Macgowan said.
"Across regional areas the prices have gone up by between 2.2 and 3.9 cents per litre in the last three weeks, but Orange also started at a higher base.
"We are predicting prices to trend downward slightly at the end of the next week but it does appear as though they will continue to climb (long-term)."
Adjustments to prices offered by independent retailers has also played a role in the inflation, Mr Mr Macgowen said.
"For some time independent retailers were offering lower prices to stay competitive however you can only do that for so long, so in the regions we're seeing those readjustments now," he said.
Several outlets' prices have reached 150 cents per litre or more, with the most expensive price sitting at $1.52 at both Caltex Orange and Coles Express. The most expensive price for diesel was 149.9 cents per litre, at five separate outlets.
Metro Orange, on Bathurst Road, was offering the cheapest unleaded fuel and diesel at time of publication, setting their marks at 144.8 and 143.8 cents per litre respectively.
The cheapest prices of both unleaded petrol and diesel was slightly lower in both Bathurst and Dubbo, with just one outlet across the Central West's three major centres offering either for less than 140 cents per litre.
The Shell service station in Brocklehurst, just outside Dubbo, was offering diesel for 139.9 cents per litre.
"The thing for motorists to remember is they can still find below-average fuel, they just need to their own research and make sure they're looking around. Sometimes it's worth going for a bit of a drive to fill up somewhere they wouldn't normally do so," Mr Macgowen said.
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