Fuel prices are rising – but ‘not back to pre-pandemic levels’

The RAC has recorded the third successive month of fuel price rises, but says they are not yet returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Unleaded petrol pump

Average fuel prices rose for the third successive month in August, with petrol going up 0.5p and diesel rising 0.3p.

However, both fuels are still 13p a litre cheaper than they were at the end of January.

RAC Fuel Watch experts are now predicting there is little sign fuel prices are returning to pre-pandemic levels any time soon.

“We had feared prices might rise more quickly as people started driving more after the lockdown,” said RAC Fuel Watch spokesman, Simon Williams.

“So far, petrol has only gone up 9p a litre from its low of 106p a litre in May.”

Prices may even fall in the coming weeks, added Mr Williams, if fuel retailers reflect the downward movement in the wholesale price of oil. He suggested a 5p a litre fall in the price of both petrol and diesel.

The average price of a litre of unleaded is 114.9p, and diesel is 118.5p.

Motorway fuel price surprise

Motorway fuel prices have, surprisingly, bucked the UK trend.

They are now only 10p a litre higher than the UK average, compared to a 20p a litre difference in January.

And even this is 5p a litre lower than the average over the past half-decade.

“It was positive that motorway fill-ups remained more reasonably priced than they have been in the past, with service station retailers apparently taking not as much margin as they have in the past,” said Mr Williams.

He pointed to Moto’s trial with selling fuel only a few pence a litre above supermarket prices, traditionally the lowest in the UK.

Although it’s unlikely the trial signals an industry-wide change in direction for motorway fuel retailers, “it won’t have gone unnoticed by its competitors”.

Could motorway fuel prices finally start becoming more competitive and become convenient go-to filling destinations of their own? Let us know in the comments below.

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Richard Aucockhttps://www.motoringresearch.com/
I'm director at Motoring Research. I run a bit, cycle a bit, have a huge love for the automotive industry.

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