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RAC Fuel Watch

The RAC is committed to supporting UK motorists by campaigning on the issues that matter most. Time and again we hear that the cost of motoring is the biggest cause of concern to them and that the high price of fuel is having a significant impact on their lives.

RAC Fuel Watch is a monthly, at-a-glance guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices - both at wholesale and at the fuel pumps. We look at the previous month's prices in depth, analysing changes through the month, and take a longer-term view of fuel prices over the last three, six and 12 months. We also give a prediction of what we think pump prices will do in the near future.

Fuel Price Monitoring

  Diesel Unleaded Super Unleaded LPG
Average PPL Fuel Price* (4th Feb) 101.08 102.08 111.89 54.53

* Prices courtesy of Experian Catalist

Two-week price forecast - diesel

    Today's Forecast    

Very likely to go up - more than 4 PPL

Likely to go up - between
2 and  4 PPL

No significant movement - between  2 and  -2 PPL

Likely to come down - between -2 and - 4 PPL

Very likely to come down - more than - 4 PPL

Two-week price forecast - petrol

    Today's Forecast    

Very likely to go up - more than 4 PPL

Likely to go up - between 2 and  4 PPL

No significant movement - between  2 and  -2 PPL

Likely to come down - between -2 and - 4 PPL

Very likely to come down - more than - 4 PPL

Our current view on UK fuel prices

RAC Fuel Watch spokesman Simon Williams said: “December was an excellent month for petrol car drivers with all four major supermarkets cutting the price of petrol to under £1 a litre on 11 December shortly after the RAC predicted it would happen. Unfortunately, despite the wholesale price of diesel being on average 2p a litre cheaper than that of petrol since 8 December, we didn’t see the pump price fall to the same level until a few days ago.

“It looks very much as though the supermarkets will have attracted extra customers into their stores before Christmas with the headline-grabbing price of 99.9p a litre for petrol but have cleverly made up for any lost profit by taking a bigger margin on diesel sales by not passing on the savings in wholesale price to motorists on the forecourt.

“Supermarkets play a very important role in the fuel market as, despite only having 16% of all forecourt sites, they are responsible for 44% of the volume of all fuel sales. This means their prices affect what other nearby retailers charge as well as being highly influential on the nationwide average prices of both petrol and diesel.

“Retailers have established a pretty good track record of passing on wholesale cost-savings at the pump over the period since the price of oil fell from $115 a barrel in June 2014. But not cutting the price of diesel when there was an opportunity to do so before Christmas has undermined that. While we still expect fuel prices to stay low for some time, it will be interesting to see how quickly pump prices go up again when the cost of oil rises. Of course, this tends to happen with little publicity in contrast to the fanfare that accompanies price reductions.

“For average prices of both petrol and diesel to reach the £1 a litre mark, it would require a further drop in the wholesale price of petrol to be passed on by retailers, and for diesel pump prices to more closely reflect the recent reductions seen on the wholesale market. If retail pricing more directly mirrored wholesale movements then the average price of diesel should move nearer £1 a litre, but sadly unleaded may rise due to the weakening pound."

RAC Fuel Watch – December 2015 edition

RAC Fuel Watch – November 2015 edition

RAC Fuel Watch – October 2015 edition

RAC Fuel Watch – September 2015 edition

RAC Fuel Watch – August 2015 edition

RAC Fuel Watch – July 2015 edition

RAC Fuel Watch – June 2015 edition

The relationship between the retail and wholesale lines on the graph are crucial. If the fuel market is operating transparently and retailers are passing on changes in the wholesale price quickly the lines should mirror one another, with the retail lines moving up or down approximately two weeks after any significant wholesale price movement up or down.

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