Drivers have been warned that petrol prices in Wagga are likely to keep rising after months of stability but the city's service stations have pointed to wholesale suppliers as driving the increase.
Wagga's average unleaded petrol price has jumped by about four cents since the start of January to 120.7 cents per litre, according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum.
NRMA spokesperson Rebecca Page said regional NSW had seen price increases right across the board.
"Prices were quite fair just before Christmas but since then we have really seen them increase," she said.
"Particularly for big regional service centres, they tend to follow Sydney's price cycle.
"In the regions, the prices won't get as high but unfortunately won't get as low as in Sydney but we are seeing price rises starting to filter out to the regions."
Sydney's average price has jumped by about 30 cents within the past two weeks to more than $1.50.
Swift Service Centre owner Paul Seaman said service stations had to accept the wholesale fuel prices and there was not an enhanced profit margin when that price went up.
"When we actually do get it cheaper, we pass it on, so it's not like we're selling it for $1.30 and making 60 cents a litre," he said.
"We have got to buy it from somewhere so we have got no choice. To stay in business we have to keep buying it at whatever price it is."
The price rises follow a year in which Wagga motorists spent less than the NSW average on fuel.
Wagga has scored in the top 30 per cent for lowest averaged petrol price across NSW in 2020 but a smaller town in the Riverina cracked the top ten cheapest locations.
Wagga ranked 41 out of 135 locations surveyed by the NRMA with an average price of 123.3 cents per litre, just behind Sydney at 122.9.
Mr Seaman said Wagga's ranking was "pretty good" and there had been more competition in the city with new outlets opening and using prices to get "bums on seats".
Albury ranked at number 20 with an average over last year of 120.3 but the Riverina's standout was Junee, which ranked 10th cheapest with 119 cents per litre.
Ms Page said Junee might have benefited from its proportionately high number of independent service stations for a town its size and it was important for regional drivers to shop around and "not just blindly fill up".