Canberra drivers should fill up now before a petrol price rise hits the territory, the NRMA warns.
The capital's fuel war is about to heat up with the cost of petrol expected to climb by about 8 cents a litre in the next week.
NRMA president Kyle Loades said a rise in crude oil prices and a dwindling Australian dollar had pushed the wholesale cost of fuel up by about $US10 a barrel. .
He expected Canberrans to fork out more than a $1.20 a litre on average in the next week.
The average cost of unleaded petrol in Canberra on Friday afternoon was about $1.15, following a weekly average of 117.6 cents a litre as of February 1, according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum's Weekly Petrol Price Report.
"The honeymoon is over," Mr Loades said. "Now we've got to get back to the previous strategy to get the best pricing - that is, to shop around."
Once Canberra's cheaper wholesale fuel runs out, ACT retailers will be buying the next lot of petrol at a higher price, Mr Loades said.
He said Sydney's rising petrol prices were a sign of things to come, the lag due to the transportation of fuel to Canberra and surrounding areas.
"The Sydney market has been averaging about 81 cents a litre and was the first market to go under $1 a litre for standard unleaded petrol, while in Canberra [and surrounding areas] it was 10 to 18c more a litre, which was very frustrating for residents," Mr Loades said.
"Sydney has reacted quickly and the price has gone up very quickly within days. This leaves a bit of a lag in the ACT and other regions to catch up, but it will.
"If history is anything to go by, Canberra's traditional prices are in the range of 10 cents more than Sydney."
Mr Loades said Sydney's fuel was more than $1.10 a litre on average on Friday, having risen 9 cents in the past week, and was expected to hit $1.20 next week.
On Friday Costco fuel was the cheapest at 103.7 cents a litre, followed by Woolworths/Caltex at 107.7 cents.
Half of the territory's service stations were selling fuel at 116 cents a litre, while one-quarter were selling at about 118 cents.
"Go to the most competitive areas if you can," he said. "Buy now, don't wait. It may well head up sooner than later."