UK drivers see 9p fall in average petrol price

The average price of petrol and diesel at UK forecourts fell in July but some of the biggest retailers are failing to reduce prices in line with falling wholesale costs, according to the RAC.

Figures from RAC Fuel Watch show that the average price of petrol dropped by 8.74p a litre to 182.69p last month, cutting the cost of filling a 55-litre tank by nearly £5.

Diesel came down by 6.69p a litre to 192.38p, reducing a fill-up by £3.68.

At these prices, it would cost £100.48 for a full tank of petrol and £105.81 to fill up with diesel.

However, the RAC said that prices still don’t fairly reflect the fall in the wholesale price of fuel, and major retailers should be cutting pump prices much further.

For example, the wholesale cost of petrol delivered to forecourts has fallen for eight consecutive weeks, from 151.93p at the start of June to 131.75p a litre in the last week of July. The last time unleaded was this price on the wholesale market was in early May which a week later led to a UK average pump price of just 167p a litre.

“July has been an unnecessarily tough month for drivers due to the big four supermarkets’ unwillingness to cut their prices to a more a reasonable level, reflecting the consistent and significant reductions in the wholesale cost of petrol and diesel,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“As it was, we saw independent retailers leading the charge with fairer pump prices appearing all around the country which eventually forced the supermarkets to finally implement a more substantial cut late last Friday afternoon (29 July).”

Williams added that drivers should no longer assume the supermarkets are the cheapest for fuel, but shop around as there may well be an independent retailer charging a lower price.

Petrol and diesel prices reach new high

Motorists in the UK are paying record prices at the pumps for both petrol and diesel, new figures show.

Motoring organisation the AA has revealed that over the weekend average petrol prices reached 148.02p a litre, surpassing 148p for the first time.

Diesel hit a new record high of 151.57p a litre on Thursday.

These prices exceed the previous record prices, seen in November last year, of 147.72p for petrol and 151.10p for diesel.

“The cost of living crisis has been ratcheted up yet another notch, tightening the vice on family spending when it faces other pressures from impending domestic energy cost and tax increases,” said Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman.

Forecourt fuel prices are driven largely by the wholesale price of energy, which has shot up due to tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

On Monday oil prices rose to $95.56 a barrel, the highest level since 2014, according to BBC News.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car is now an “eye-watering” £81.41.

“With the oil price teetering on the brink of $100 a barrel and retailers keen to pass on the increase in wholesale fuel quickly, new records could now be set on a daily basis in the coming weeks,” Williams added.

Noting that retailer margins have dropped to around 7p a litre, Williams urged the UK’s big four supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, to “play fair” with drivers by keeping their profit margins low.

Petrol prices hit record high

UK petrol prices have climbed to their highest level to date, according to the RAC.

The price of unleaded petrol has jumped by 28p a litre to 142.94p, from 114.5p in October 2020 and exceeding the all-time peak of 142.48p a litre reached in April 2012.

It now costs £15 more to fill up an average family car compared with a year ago.

And the motoring organisation noted that the average price of super unleaded has risen to 154.58p a litre, drastically increasing costs for drivers whose cars are not compatible with new higher bio content E10 petrol introduced in September, which contains 10% ethanol. These drivers have no choice but to use E5 petrol which is now only available at the super unleaded grade.

Diesel is also heading towards a new record with the average now standing at 146.50p, just 1.5p off the high of 147.93p from April 2012.

Behind the high prices is a jump in the price of oil, as well as September’s switch to greener E10 petrol and retailers increasing their average margin after the pandemic hit sales.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the high prices represent “a dark day for drivers” and will impact many household budgets, with knock-on implications for the wider economy.

“The big question now is: where will it stop and what price will petrol hit? If oil gets to $100 a barrel, we could very easily see the average price climb to 150p a litre,” he said.

“Even though many people aren’t driving as much as they have in the past due to the pandemic, drivers tell us they are just as reliant on their cars, and many simply don’t have a choice but to drive. Those on lower incomes who have to drive to work will seriously struggle to find the extra money for the petrol they so badly need.”

Williams called on the UK government to temporarily reduce VAT on fuel, and urged the biggest retailers to reduce the amount they make on every litre of petrol back down to the level it was before the pandemic.

UK Fuel Costs Expected To Hit Record High

Motorists face further anguish today as petrol costs hit a whole new record high of £1.22 a litre, as outlined by the AA.

Following a 7 days of traffic pandemonium with the Big Freeze, the expense of refueling at the pumps is ready to surge – adding roughly £25 towards the month-to-month bill of a two-car family.

It arrives as individuals throughout Britain fight their way with larger food and utility bills.

Rising Oil and wholesale fuel costs – together with claimed profiteering from oil companies and suppliers – are held responsible for the increases in the price of petrol. Prices are likely to rise even higher in the New Year when the VAT rate goes up another 2.5% – to 20%.

The AA has predicted highs of up to 124p in the coming weeks.

‘It is highly likely that UK average petrol prices will set a new record on Friday,’ said a spokesman.

AA President Edmund King said: ‘In the past week, we have seen the average price of petrol shoot up 1.7p a litre across the UK and diesel rise 1.61p.

‘It comes at a particularly bad time for drivers who have struggled with appalling winter weather and often seen their fuel drain away while stuck in snow-bound traffic jams.

‘Although the wholesale price of petrol has risen sharply in the past fortnight, there is a growing feeling of helplessness among drivers with winter travel disruption and ever-rising fuel costs.

‘If current prices persist, the new year increase in fuel duty and VAT will push petrol prices up to 124p a litre.’ He added: ‘Our only hope is that either oil and fuel markets settle back down or the pound strengthens against the dollar. Until then, it is an even more uncomfortable ride for families trying to keep their cars on the road.’