Petrol prices fell in October 2017 but RAC Fuel Watch warns that cheaper forecourt prices are set to be a blip due to recent increases in the cost of oil.
While the price of unleaded fell by 0.7p in October, to an average of 118.1p a litre of petrol (114.8p at supermarkets), the price of a barrel of oil rose 9 percent. It is now above $60 a barrel for the first time in over two years.
Already, says RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams, the wholesale cost of oil has gone up in November. “Inevitably, this increase will be passed on to motorists on the forecourt far more quickly than the cuts were made last month.”
This sounds unfair but it “is unfortunately the nature of ‘big’ fuel retailing: pass on wholesale rises quickly and cling on to savings for as long as possible”.
The only possible escape from more expensive petrol could come courtesy of the US. “Motorists may yet be spared from large pump prices if the United States takes advantage of the higher oil price to bring more fracking rigs online as this will bring more product on to the market, no doubt easing the barrel price.”
Even so, he added, the cheap fuel we enjoyed at the start of 2016 does not seem set for a comeback. What’s more, revealed the RAC data, it’s only petrol prices that fell in October: diesel actually rose in price by 0.6p a litre, taking it up to 120.8p (or 117.7p at the big four supermarkets).
That’s the fourth monthly diesel increase in a row.