Petrol pump prices hit three-year high

Petrol pump prices hit three-year high
Fuel prices are “making a dent in household budgets” after rising for the third consecutive month.

The cost of both diesel and petrol is now at its highest since late 2014, new data from RAC Fuel Watch shows.

Unleaded prices were up by 1.34p at the pumps to 122.24p a litre in January, with diesel up 1.56p to 125.04p a litre.

This marks an increase of 5p per litre for diesel and 4p a litre for petrol since October last year.

READ MORE: Higher fuel prices could be ‘new norm’ in 2018’

Motorists have been faced with increasing fuel costs for three months straight, with the average price of filling up for diesel and petrol rising £5.51 and £4.35 respectively since July.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says that, while costs are sure to be taking their toll on drivers, there is a “glimmer of hope” that fuel prices will drop again in the near future.

Mr Williams said: “The start of 2018 hasn’t been good for motorists as they’ve had to endure their third consecutive monthly increase at the pumps.

“Both petrol and diesel are now at their highest points for more than three years which is bound to be making a dent in household budgets.

“There is a glimmer of hope that some of the heat in the forecourt price of fuel could cool in February as our current two-week forecast shows reductions of a penny for petrol and two pence for diesel.”

The high costs are due to the rising price of oil which recently increased by 2%, although this has been offset to some extent by the recent boost to the pound.

Mr Williams continued: “While the fuel market is very hard to predict at the best of times there is currently even greater uncertainty as the price of oil went through the $70 a barrel mark in January for the first time in more than three years while sterling has strengthened against the dollar making wholesale fuel cheaper as it’s traded in dollars.”

Fuel prices on forecourts at major supermarkets saw the largest increase with the average price for a litre of supermarket petrol rising to 119.76p and diesel to 122.45p.

READ MORE: How to keep driving costs down in 2018

In response, the RAC is calling for fuel retailers to be fairer in passing on any potential savings to motorists in the future.

He said: “Whether this will filter through at the pumps is questionable as retailers are generally loath to pass on wholesale savings when they consider them to be marginal.

“We urge fuel retailers to be fair to motorists and pass on the current savings in the wholesale price of petrol and diesel at the pump.

“Reflecting downward movement in wholesale prices on the forecourt, however small, is important for retailers as motorists generally believe there is little transparency in the price of fuel, unless of course costs are on the up when they understand all too well they will quickly be paying more to fill up.”

The data also found that filling up costs vary significantly across the UK, with Scotland coming off worst for both petrol and diesel prices.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.