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fuel price drops UK

November sees 5p per litre drop in petrol prices. It should be cheaper still

November saw a petrol price drop of five pence per litre. That’s the biggest month-to-month drop since January of 2015.

Fuel prices

A fuel price war could be coming, as oil costs slump

Fuel prices

Fuel prices have hit highs not seen since 2014, but the AA says relief is on the way. Relief, it says, that could amount to 3p a litre – or £1.50 a tank.

Of course, there’s always a possibility that any savings consumers can look forward to may be dented by the rumoured un-freezing of fuel duty in the Autumn budget. It’s been held at 58p a litre since 2011.

Nevertheless, the AA predicts a forthcoming decrease in prices due to the strengthening of the pound, allied with a cut in the wholesale cost of oil. Such drops have triggered penny-by-penny falls in competing forecourts’ prices in the past, resulting in price wars at the pumps.

How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you

“In the past, such a significant drop in wholesale prices would have triggered a pump-price battle among the supermarkets” said the AA’s fuel price spokesman, Luke Bordet.

“For the moment, drivers should keep an eye out for competitive oil company sites, taking the opportunity to undercut expensive supermarket sites”.

A drop in fuel prices would follow a full 11 consecutive weeks of price rises to date. In that time, the national average for a litre of petrol has reached £1.31 a litre. Diesel is even more expensive, at £1.35 a litre on average. Contrast to July 2018, when the average cost for petrol and diesel was £1.28 and £1.31 respectively.

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Rising costs forcing young drivers off the road

Foxes

Rising insurance costs, mounting debts and the cost of lessons are to blame for young people being priced out of driving. That’s according to research commissioned by InsuretheGap, which found that 22% of under 25s cannot afford to learn to drive.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) says that the average cost of a driving lesson in the UK is £24, and you’ll need to factor in the cost of a provisional licence (£34 if you pay online), the theory test (£23), and a practical driving test (£62 weekdays or £75 evenings, weekends and bank holidays).

Assuming you have 10 lessons, that’s a total cost of £359, before you’ve considered the cost of insurance and the actual car. Passing first time could save you time and money.


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Car insurance is a further barrier, with the average cost of a policy just under £3,900 for a 17- to 20-year-old driver. Little wonder, then, that an online petition called for car insurance for 18- to 25-year-olds to be capped at £1,200 a year.

InsuretheGap’s survey went on to say that without the support of parents or a bank loan, a quarter of young drivers would be unable to buy a car, and 24% said they would like to buy a car but would be unable to cover the running costs.

“When one in six jobs specifies that the applicant must have a driving licence, this generation are potentially being held back by their lack of wheels,” said Ben Wooltorton, director at InsuretheGap.com.

“The RAC Foundation analysed 847,000 job vacancies last year and found that jobs requiring a valid licence ranged from a zoo worker, a chef, sales consultant, security guard, hairdresser and even gymnastics coach, so we’re not just talking about driving jobs here”.

If you want to go out, don’t buy a car

Meanwhile, a similar study into the cost of motoring conducted by Admiral found that motorists under the age of 25 are having to fork out £3,435 a year to stay behind the wheel. This cost is broken as follows:

  • Fuel: £1,077
  • Insurance: £1,014
  • Maintenance: £558
  • Vehicle Excise Duty: £411
  • MOT costs: £375

The research claims that motoring is forcing young drivers to sacrifice social plans to stay on the road. Around two-thirds shelved plans to go shopping, while 60% decided against attending a music festival. Nearly half of under 25s were forced into abandoning holiday plans and smartphone upgrades, while 60% cancelled a romantic date.

Let’s just hope you love your car enough to forgo the opportunity for a candlelit meal with somebody you ‘met’ on Tinder.

RAC Fuel Watch

Fuel price rise a ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit and OPEC

RAC Fuel WatchA ‘perfect storm’ of a Brexit-induced plummet in the pound and a threat of oil production cuts by OPEC and Russia has led to the average price of fuel increasing 3p in just three weeks.

The average price of petrol now stands at 116p, says the RAC – a huge contrast to just eight months ago, where petrol was around 102p a litre.

The least economical cars on sale

Fuel prices falling after 4 months of hikes

Is this as good as it gets for cheap fuel prices?

The days of £1 a litre prices, last experienced around Christmas 2015, are now but a memory, says the firm’s fuel price consumer champion, RAC Fuel Watch.

Spokesman Simon Williams told Motoring Research there’s a threat of further fuel prices too, as the 14 oil-producing countries that make up OPEC are due to meet on November 30th, where they could possibly agree on a cut in oil production.

“Even the threat of a cut has been enough to push up prices,” said Williams. “We can expect further increases in the cost of a barrel of oil if OPEC actually does agree to cut oil production.

“It’s possible Russia will agree to a cut in production as well,” he added – Williams also revealed that the UK imports 40% of the diesel sold here, and it comes mainly from… Russia.

‘Flash crash’

The biggest factor in recent price rises has, however, been the ‘flash crash’ in the value of the pound on 7 October. As fuel is traded in US dollars, it’s this that has hiked up forecourt prices by so much recently.

The last time prices rose this quickly was at the start of 2011, revealed Williams. “Less than four months later, the then Chancellor George Osborne took the step of cutting fuel duty by 1p to 57.95p.”

These days, fuel is around 20p a litre cheaper than it was back then, but the outlook still looks rather ominous, said Williams.

“If the Chancellor has been tempted to raise duty in next month’s Autumn Statement as a result of recent lower fuel prices, the current uncertainty should make him think again.”

RAC Fuel Watch

Fuel price rise a 'perfect storm' of Brexit and OPEC

RAC Fuel WatchA ‘perfect storm’ of a Brexit-induced plummet in the pound and a threat of oil production cuts by OPEC and Russia has led to the average price of fuel increasing 3p in just three weeks.

The average price of petrol now stands at 116p, says the RAC – a huge contrast to just eight months ago, where petrol was around 102p a litre.

The least economical cars on sale

Fuel prices falling after 4 months of hikes

Is this as good as it gets for cheap fuel prices?

The days of £1 a litre prices, last experienced around Christmas 2015, are now but a memory, says the firm’s fuel price consumer champion, RAC Fuel Watch.

Spokesman Simon Williams told Motoring Research there’s a threat of further fuel prices too, as the 14 oil-producing countries that make up OPEC are due to meet on November 30th, where they could possibly agree on a cut in oil production.

“Even the threat of a cut has been enough to push up prices,” said Williams. “We can expect further increases in the cost of a barrel of oil if OPEC actually does agree to cut oil production.

“It’s possible Russia will agree to a cut in production as well,” he added – Williams also revealed that the UK imports 40% of the diesel sold here, and it comes mainly from… Russia.

‘Flash crash’

The biggest factor in recent price rises has, however, been the ‘flash crash’ in the value of the pound on 7 October. As fuel is traded in US dollars, it’s this that has hiked up forecourt prices by so much recently.

The last time prices rose this quickly was at the start of 2011, revealed Williams. “Less than four months later, the then Chancellor George Osborne took the step of cutting fuel duty by 1p to 57.95p.”

These days, fuel is around 20p a litre cheaper than it was back then, but the outlook still looks rather ominous, said Williams.

“If the Chancellor has been tempted to raise duty in next month’s Autumn Statement as a result of recent lower fuel prices, the current uncertainty should make him think again.”

Motorist filling up at fuel station

Fuel prices falling after 4 months of hikes

Motorist filling up at fuel stationUK fuel prices are belatedly beginning to fall after supermarkets led the way in early August 2016 with a 2p per litre price reduction on petrol and diesel.

Nationwide, RAC Fuel Watch petrol prices are now 0.41p lower than they were a month ago, meaning the average price of petrol is 111.8p per litre and diesel is 112.4p a litre.

From being slightly cheaper than petrol, diesel is regaining its price premium: the reduction in diesel prices during July was just 0.06p per litre.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said more price cuts should be in store. “We are hopeful that the early August supermarket cut will make a bigger difference to household budgets in the summer holiday period even though it came a more than a week later than it should have done.”

Falling fuel wholesale prices, he said, is being caused by an oversupply of oil and slowing global economic growth. This has made fuel significantly cheaper than a year ago.

“Motorists continue to benefit from the lower oil price which had led to petrol prices that are nearly 5p a litre cheaper than a year ago and diesel that’s more than 3p a litre less expensive.”

Prices in the East Midlands fell by the biggest margin, with petrol 1.53p per litre cheaper over the month, and diesel 0.95p per litre.

You’ll pay an average of 110.5p per litre for petrol in the East Midlands, compared to 111.7p per litre in the South East – worth bearing in mind if you’re travelling through the UK this summer.

Diesel prices only failed to fall in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but the latter is still the cheapest place in the UK to buy diesel; again, the South East is the most expensive, with diesel costing 112.5p per litre instead of Northern Ireland’s 110.9p.

That’s a hefty 1.6p per litre difference.

Unleaded and diesel pump nozzles

Be fair and cut prices NOW, RAC tells fuel retailers

Unleaded and diesel pump nozzlesUK fuel prices should immediately be cut by 3p per litre and if fuel retailers were playing fair they would have chopped prices already, says the RAC.

Pump prices are currently hovering around 11p per litre for diesel and petrol, but RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams believes they should be around 109 per litre, with the most competitive filling stations selling unleaded and diesel for around 106p per litre.

Some motorway services are charging a shocking 127p per litre, he points out, despite the price of oil dropping to its lowest level since the start of May.

FairFuelUK has already this week accused British fuel retailers of “opportunistic and abhorrent” profiteering by not passing on savings, and now the RAC is adding weight to the call for prices to fall.

Staycation surprise

“We would hope that retailers are not taking advantage of public perceptions that fuel prices would rise following the Brexit vote last month,” said Williams.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, he added: “Retailers have a reasonable recent record of passing cost savings on, and we would like to think this is a blip rather than a new norm.

“With millions of families currently away on holiday or soon to leave, combined with a boom in staycations this year, a cut now would be widely welcomed and would give motorists confidence that retailers are not keeping prices artificially high.”

RAC Fuel Watch data shows the oil price is the biggest factor determining UK fuel prices after fuel duty.

UK fuel prices have risen since winter 2015 when unleaded hit a low of 101.27p per litre, tantalisingly close to dipping below the £1 per litre mark.

Pump prices have risen since then but now the world oil price is dipping, it’s time for fuel retailers to play fair, pleads the RAC.

UK petrol station

Fuel retailers are ‘exploiting motorists for personal greed’

UK petrol stationFuel retailers are paying less for diesel and petrol since the Brexit vote but these savings have yet to be passed onto motorists.

FairFuelUK has thus accused British fuel retailers of ‘opportunistic and abhorrent’ profiteering by not passing on the savings – adding that in some cases, fuel prices have actually risen.

The wholesale cost of diesel has fallen 1.67p per litre since the Brexit vote in June, says FairFuelUK. Petrol is even cheaper: it costs 3.65p per litre less. Despite this, average diesel prices are unchanged and the average price of petrol is up by 1p a litre.

It is independent fuel retailers who are to blame, says FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox. Supermarkets are starting to bring down pump prices but smaller forecourts are not.

“The Petrol Retailers Association should tell Britain’s 37 million drivers why their members appear to be increasing their profits since Brexit. Are they deliberately exploiting market and political uncertainty for personal greed?”

Retail fuel margins have risen nearly 2p a litre since the EU Referendum on 23 June, according to FairFuelUK research. Retail profits are up even more: from 6.23p per litre to 10.66p on every litre sold.

Of course, said FairFuelUK campaigner Quentin Willson, retailers need to make a decent profit, “but failure to pass on these wholesale falls is nothing short of opportunistic and abhorrent”.

Labour MP and Transport Select Committee member Rob Flello went further: “Motorists and professional drivers continue to be ripped off by an industry that hides the true costs of producing our fuels. The new PM has the chance to end this disgrace.

“Of course the fuel industry could voluntarily stop profiteering, but without government intervention there’s no sign of that happening.”

Motorist filling up with fuel

Cheap fuel is good for business says RAC

Motorist filling up with fuelThe fall in fuel prices over the past year has saved business 11% in petrol and diesel costs – and companies admit their employees are driving more miles and doing more business as a result.

Some firms are, however, also future-proofing themselves against fuel price rises by investing the savings in buying fuel-saving hybrid vehicles.

More car news on Motoring Research

The RAC Fuel Watch survey of 500 business decision-makers found that more than one in four admit their staff are making more journeys by vehicle because of the fall in fuel costs. This could be because driving is now appreciably cheaper than other forms of transport such as rail or air.

RAC corporate business sales director Jenny Powley added it shows businesses are not simply banking the saved cash, but are “getting on the road to drive their businesses forward.

“By adding new vehicles to fleets, embarking on motor journeys and covering more miles, companies appear to be doing more business, and we are certain this will be rewarded.”

The fall in fuel prices over the past few years is striking: from an all-time high of 148p per litre of diesel in April 2012, the average cost today for both petrol and diesel hovers around the 112p per litre mark. On large fleets of vehicles, that’s a significant saving.

Brexit is unlikely to push up costs either: the pound has weakened, but so too has the price of crude oil – meaning prices are predicted to fall further in coming weeks. The RAC is predicting a 2p per litre cut.

Some bold firms are taking full advantage by actually buying less fuel-efficient cars – 22% have chosen larger, less economical cars as a result of cheap fuel.

More sensibly, 18% are putting the extra cash into hybrid vehicles – which the RAC says indicates the technology is now sufficiently advanced for fleets to consider it viable.

RAC Fuel Watch

Fuel prices up for 4th month in a row

RAC Fuel WatchThe price of unleaded petrol and diesel has risen for the fourth month running, with June pump prices going up by 1.5p a litre – despite the wholesale cost of fuel rising only slightly.

So why have pump prices gone up by around 6p a gallon? It’s not entirely clear: RAC Fuel Watch data shows that although the pound weakened 7% following the UK’s ‘Brexit’ decision to leave the European Union, oil prices also fell 6%. The wholesale price of fuel was thus largely unaffected.

Despite this, forecourt prices continued their four-month upward trajectory, one that’s seen unleaded go up by more than 10p between March and June. This means the average family petrol car costs £5.64 more to fill up today than it did back in March.

The average diesel car is almost £6 pricier to fill today than in March.

This is “enough to make an unpleasant dent in household budgets up and down the country,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams, “especially for those who have more than one car or need to fill up regularly.”

“But it is good news that fuel prices are so far weathering the Brexit storm. We may well see pump prices rise slightly in July, but current indications are that that is unlikely to be the shock rise some were predicting.”

This means that although fuel prices have risen, oil prices are unlikely to rise in the foreseeable, so at least prices at the pumps should now begin to stabilise.

“There is also a hope that prices might even fall once various issues that have hindered production around the world are resolved,” added Williams.