Fuel prices down but ‘still too expensive’

Fuel prices

Average pump prices for petrol and diesel fell in June but are still higher than they should be, according to the RAC.

The motoring organisation found that at the end of June the average price of petrol across the UK was just under 145p a litre — down from 148p at the start of the month. Diesel dropped to 150p, from almost 154p.

This means it now costs around £80 (£79.76) to fill up a 55-litre family car with petrol and £82.57 for diesel.

Although the cost of a barrel of oil rose in June, leading to a slight increase in the wholesale price of fuel, the RAC said it remains the case that both petrol and diesel are still too expensive on forecourts in England, Wales and Scotland.

It’s a different picture in Northern Ireland, where a litre of petrol costs an average of just 140.5p — 4.5p cheaper than the UK average. Diesel is 142p — 8p less than the UK-wide price.

The report said that petrol bought Shell forecourts is the most expensive in the UK at an average of 149p, followed by BP with an average of 146.5p. Shell also has the highest average price for diesel at 155p, while BP’s average is 152p.

“We remain baffled how the very same fuel can be sold for such vastly different prices by the biggest retailers, whether they’re run by supermarkets or the world’s largest oil companies,” said RAC head of policy Simon Williams.

“It’s also the case that while oil has increased from under $80 at the start of June to the mid-$80s by the end, wholesale costs are still low enough to merit cheaper prices at the pumps. Looking at the fairer average prices charged in Northern Ireland, petrol should be 4.5p lower across England, Scotland and Wales and diesel should be a whole 8p less.”

A new Pumpwatch scheme is due to come into operation later this year, requiring fuel retailers to report their prices within half an hour of changing them so they can be accessed via price comparison sites and apps to help drivers find the cheapest fuel near them.