Fuel prices RISE in January despite FALL in wholesale costs

fuel price rises saudi attacks

Fuel prices went up last month, despite a fall in the wholesale cost of petrol and diesel.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch shows the wholesale price of unleaded fell by 4.3p, while diesel dropped 7.5p across the month. This should, in theory, have led to a reduction at the pumps.

Instead, the average UK price of a litre of petrol is 127.60p – up 0.92p from the start of January. The price of diesel also went up by the same amount, finishing the month at 132.04p.

Refuelling at a supermarket should save you money. The RAC data reveals average prices of 123.69p for unleaded and 128.14p for diesel. At the end January, Asda announced it was cutting fuel price by 3p per litre.

There are regional variations. Filling up is likely to be more expensive in London and the South East, but around 4p cheaper in Northern Ireland.

Overall, it’s now 50p more expensive to fill a 55-litre tank than it was at the start of the year. Petrol is now £70.18, while diesel is £72.62.

‘Rocket and feather’

Drivers should be angry about small fuel price drops say the RAC

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Based on steadily falling wholesale prices, January should have been a good month for drivers at the pumps, but instead they ended up being paying well over the odds. In fact, January was a perfect example of ‘rocket and feather’ pricing where prices go up far faster than they come down.

“Retailers were very quick to protect themselves from a slight jump in the price of oil caused by the tensions between Iran and the US at the start of January by putting up forecourt prices, but when the cost of a barrel dropped back, for some reason, retail prices carried on going up.

“Our biggest retailers – the supermarkets – blatantly resisted passing on the savings they were making to drivers until the RAC publicly called on them to do so on 27 January when RAC Fuel Watch data showed there was scope for a large cut. Two days later a headline-grabbing 3p a litre cut was announced.

“This was clearly good news, but it’s hard to congratulate retailers on doing something they should have done at least a week before. Even since the cut pump prices are still out of kilter with what’s been happening on the wholesale market. As things stand now – despite the cuts – petrol is still 5p too expensive and diesel over 7p too dear.

“We strongly urge retailers of all sizes to play fair with drivers and cut their forecourt prices. Going forwards we call on them to charge prices that more closely mirror drops in the cost they buy fuel in at in the same way they do when prices go up.”

Click here for some handy fuel-saving tips.

Asda cuts fuel prices by 3p per litre

Asda fuel savings 2020

Recent rises in fuel costs have been reversed by supermarket chain Asda, which has cut pump prices for petrol and diesel by 3p per litre. The discount applies from today (January 29).

That means Asda fuel stations across the country will be offering petrol at 120p per litre, and diesel at 124p per litre.

fuel prices drop coronavirus

“Average UK petrol and diesel pump prices have been at their highest for a January since 2014 and, despite wholesale costs declining over the past two to three weeks, they have stayed stubbornly above 128p a litre for petrol and 132.5p for diesel,” said Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman.

“This new price cut is in line with wholesale petrol falling from an average of 39.4p a litre in early January to the 37.0p between Wednesday and Friday last week.”

As the RAC reported, the drops in the cost of fuel could partially be down to the rise of the Coronavirus in China, and the resulting sharp drop in travel. Less travel means increased supply, which means a lower price. This followed the tensions between America and Iran causing fuel prices to jump in the early weeks of January.

Fuel vouchers in January: ‘quite simply mean’Diesel car fuel filler

Bosdet goes on to criticise other supermarkets that are passing on savings to customers in a roundabout way. Fuel vouchers mean that drivers can get 5p off per litre of fuel they buy, but only if they spend a certain amount in-store.

“Once again, if you’re on a low income and your spending power isn’t up to it, you miss out,” Bosdet followed.

“Given the time of year with customers trying to pay off Christmas debts and fuel costs falling dramatically, that discrimination is quite simply mean.”

fuel prices drop coronavirus

Why the Coronavirus could lead to lower petrol prices

fuel prices drop coronavirus

One indirect effect of the Coronavirus crisis in China could be a reduction in UK fuel prices.

That’s according to the RAC, which says oil use in China has fallen due to travel restrictions and anxieties around the virus. This, in turn, has led to a drop in the price of crude oil. Prices fell below $60 a barrel last Friday, with the RAC claiming there could be further to go.

The news follows rises in the price of fuel following the tensions and conflict between the United States and Iran.

fuel prices dropping 2019

By the RAC’s reckoning, there’s room for petrol and diesel to fall by 4p and 5p per litre respectively over the next two weeks. Assuming, that is, that fuel retailers ‘play fair’ with consumers. 

“Some drivers are no doubt aware that fuel prices in the UK are affected by global events, but many will be shocked to hear the coronavirus outbreak in China should lead to the price of petrol and diesel falling dramatically,” said RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams.

Asda fuel prices

“We urge the supermarkets, who are so influential in what drivers pay for fuel due to their massive market share, to pass on the wholesale savings they’re benefiting to motorists at the pumps, especially as they have actually increased forecourt petrol prices every day since 2 January.

“Drivers have been unfairly punished as a result of the very short-term oil price rise caused by tensions in the Middle East. It seems as though the big four supermarkets have been capitalising on this as the oil price has fallen steadily from a high of $69.82 on 6 January to $59.75 on 24 January.

“This is the first time oil has been under $60 a barrel since 31 October 2019.”

Diesel car fuel filler

Fuel price falls reverse as petrol goes back up in December

Diesel car fuel filler

After four months of falling fuel prices, December 2019 saw them start to creep back up again, due to a surge in global oil prices.

The increase was slight – 0.24p on a litre of unleaded, taking the average up to 126.11p – but it’s a sign of things to come, warns RAC Fuel Watch.

That’s because the price of oil went up nearly 5 percent during December, which led to increases in the wholesale cost of fuel.

Asda customers were obvious casualties. The supermarket retailer cut 2p a litre off the price of unleaded on 13 December… but by 29 December, prices had gone back up by 2.5p a litre.

Supermarkets are, however, still a hefty average of 4.63p a litre cheaper than the UK average.

Diesel drivers saw prices go up too, with a litre now averaging 130.61p – an increase of 0.75p during December.

‘No reason for fuel prices to come down’

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “This situation very clearly demonstrates how UK drivers are at the mercy of global oil production issues when it comes to filling up.

“As we embark on a new decade it is difficult to see that 2020 will be a good year for drivers in terms of fuel prices. As it stands, we can’t see any reason for prices to come down significantly.

“Sadly, it seems more likely that there will be slight increases to contend with, unless of course there is a substantial jump in the value of the pound against the dollar or an unexpected drop in demand for oil.”

Festive fill-up: Asda cuts petrol and diesel prices again

Asda fuel prices

A Christmas treat is available on fuel station forecourts this festive period. From today, Asda has reduced petrol and diesel prices by a further 2p per litre and 1p per litre respectively.

Prices across Asda’s 322 petrol stations will be no more than £1.17 per litre of petrol and £1.22 for diesel.

The move is Asda’s response to the AA’s criticism of supermarkets over fuel voucher schemes. 

PetrolPrices app updated, save £200 in fuel

A 50-litre fill-up at £1.17 a litre will cost £58.50, while a £1.22-per-litre diesel fill will cost £61.

Compared to the RAC Fuel Watch average of £1.25, that’s a saving of £4 on 50 litres of petrol. On diesel, drivers could save £3.50 compared with the average cost of £1.29.

“Asda’s price cuts mean that lower-spending drivers, such as the young, lower-income workers, people who live on their own and many of the elderly, are no longer frozen out from the benefit of reduced wholesale costs,” said the AA.

How to slice your monthly fuel cost

An 18,000-person AA poll revealed that 58 percent of motorists think that ‘spend X and get Y off a litre of fuel’ schemes and similar are an ‘underhand way’ of getting shoppers to spend more money than they ordinarily would. And 38 percent said such deals made them feel manipulated. Tesco, for example, is currently offering 10p off every litre of fuel if you spend more than £60 in store. 

Commenting on the price reduction at Asda, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “A cut in fuel prices before Christmas is good news for everyone who will be taking to the roads to visit family and friends. By knocking 2p a litre off unleaded, Asda has taken its price 8p below the UK average of 125.77p.”

Fuel prices drop for fourth month in a row

fuel prices dropping 2019

Fuel prices are still falling, which is good news for motorists. However, the RAC believes there’s room for the prices to drop even further.

At the end of November, the RAC counts four months of consecutive reductions in the price of fuel. A litre of unleaded petrol fell by a further half-penny last month, down to 125.93p.

The data, from RAC Fuel Watch, also shows that diesel has fallen commensurately, and sits on average at 130.27p. It hasn’t enjoyed quite the same streak of reductions, however. September saw a rise in the price of diesel, as petrol dropped. Since then it’s been on the way down.

fuel prices dropping 2019

Overall, since the beginning of August, petrol has fallen on average by 3.31p per litre, while diesel has fallen by 2.21p per litre. The drops are from a respective 129.24p and 132.04p, to the prices they are today.

The resulting savings are enough to take a chunk out of your morning coffee. An average 55-litre tank on a family car is £1.82 cheaper for petrol, and £1.21 for diesel. Buying 55 litres of petrol and diesel will set you back, on average, £69.26, and £71.41 respectively.

The cheapest fuel you’ll find

The average isn’t necessarily what you should be aiming for, though. Supermarkets undercut conventional retailers by some margin, with Asda and Tesco often leading the way. Asda’s cheapest petrol price is currently 119p per litre, while Tesco trails at 121p. Diesel can be found for as low as 125p per litre.

fuel prices dropping 2019

According to RAC spokesperson Simon Williams, the gulf between the cost of fuel at retailer and supermarket prices is at a high. The big names haven’t passed on the same savings as the supermarkets.

“Despite this knocking off about a penny and half from the average price of fuel charged at the four big supermarkets, the UK average only reduced very slightly. This implies that other retailers haven’t followed the supermarkets lead and are not passing on savings in the wholesale price.

“Normally, the supermarkets are about 3p a litre cheaper than other retailers so seeing this go out to 4.7p is definitely a sign something’s different.”

Even more savings can be hadfuel price drop 2019

In spite of the good news of consecutive drops in fuel prices, and petrol getting below 120p per litre at its cheapest, more can be done, says the RAC. Given the wholesale price of oil – and the retail price of fuel – there is room for further improvement.

“Looking at the wholesale price of both petrol and diesel retailers of all sizes should be cutting at the pump. As it stands, unleaded should come down by 5p a litre and diesel by 4p. We would like to think retailers are about to pass these saving on in the expensive run-up to Christmas.”

‘Petrol 7p a litre too expensive’ as Asda starts price war

petrol and diesel prices too high

Petrol is 7p per litre too expensive at the pumps, according to RAC Fuel Watch.

The criticism is based on an average pump price of 128p per litre for petrol and 131p per litre for diesel. It effectively means that for every 55 litres of petrol bought, motorists are paying £3.88 too much.

‘Drivers should feel cheated’

petrol and diesel prices too high

With a fall in wholesale fuel costs, it’s generally expected fuel stations should pass on savings to customers. The RAC accuses retailers of losing transparency when it comes to prices.

“We really need to see the supermarkets start knocking off significant amounts at the pumps in the next week,” said Simon Williams at the RAC.

“But we know from experience that 3p a litre is the most they tend to do in one go. If that doesn’t happen, drivers should feel cheated.

“For some reason in the last year or so our biggest retailers haven’t been as transparent with their pricing as they have been in the past which means motorists all over the country lose out as a result of them taking more margin than they have previously.

“Diesel, which is currently averaging 131.55p a litre, should also be cut as its price is more than 5p too expensive. In reality it should be being sold for around 127p, which would make it a penny cheaper than petrol is now.”

Starting a petrol price war

petrol and diesel prices too high

Asda has now committed to cutting the cost of its fuel. The supermarket will redude petrol and diesel by 2p and 3p per litre respectively.

That will leave Asda prices at 121p per litre for petrol and 125p per litre for diesel.

“With wholesale costs falling and half-term just around the corner, we’re pleased to be able lower the cost of fuel and pass these savings on to our customers,” said Asda senior fuel buyer, Dave Tyrer.

All this comes after recent attacks on an Saudi oil production facility. Some predicted there would be a knock-on effect on the price of fuel, as oil costs fluctuated in response. Yet the opposite has happened, with the cost of a barrel falling to less than $60 at one point.

Drivers ‘should be angry’ about fuel prices, says RAC

Drivers should be angry about small fuel price drops say the RAC

The average price of fuel fell in August 2019. However, the RAC says drivers should be angry that bigger savings were not passed on, following healthy falls in the wholesale price of fuel.

A litre of petrol dropped in price by just 0.27p during August. Meanwhile, the wholesale cost of unleaded fell by a comparatively massive 4.38p, to 96.57p.

The drop in diesel costs wasn’t so dramatic at wholesale. It fell by 1p, down to 101.12p. Just 0.38p of this was passed on to motorists.

Fuel prices are heading back up

A drop of 2p per litre of petrol would have felt dramatic to buyers on the forecourts. Even this would still only take less than half of that new-found saving at wholesale.

Instead of saving 15p on a 55-litre fill-up of a family-sized car, drivers would be saving a healthier £1.10.

“Drivers have the right to feel angry that the price of fuel did not fall more in August than it did,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.

The lowest prices at Asda were a respective 124p and 126p per litre for petrol and diesel. The price of petrol on average for the four biggest retailers was 125.41p – a drop of 0.55p.

Diesel meanwhile was 128.04p – a drop of 0.6p. The biggest savings are at the big four supermarkets – Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

PetrolPrices app updated, save £200 in fuel

“With nearly 4.5p coming off the wholesale price of petrol, drivers should have seen, at the very least, 2p a litre being knocked off at the pumps by the end of the month.

“By our calculations, retailers ought to be charging around 126p for a litre of unleaded. As for the supermarkets, they could easily be selling at around 122p.

“The lower wholesale prices seen in August are a result of a 5 percent drop in the price of oil over the month, with a barrel going down from $62.47 to $59.09.

“The other price-determining factor – the sterling US dollar exchange rate – changed very little over the month, leading to a pound being worth $1.21 at both the start and finish.”

Fuel prices begin to rise again – and increases could get ‘nasty’

Fuel prices are heading back up

Fuel prices have started to increase again following a brief month of reductions in June. The price of petrol has risen 1.5p while diesel is up by a penny.

The average price for a litre of unleaded is now 129.21p, reports RAC Fuel Watch, and diesel is 131.95p.

An average 55-litre tank of petrol will now set drivers back £71.07, compared to £70.21 at the end of June. A tank of diesel increases by 51p to £72.57.

Surprisingly, supermarket fuel prices have suffered an above-average increase. On average, 1.88p was added to the price of a litre of petrol, up to 125.9p. Diesel went up 1.64p, for a per-litre cost of 128.6p.

Why are fuel prices rising?

Fuel prices are heading back up

The price of a barrel of oil is ultimately reflected in pump prices sooner or later. Wholesale prices for a barrel of oil rose mid-month to $67.41 on July 10th, but settled to $63.97 by the end of the month.

World events such as the tanker hijacking in the Strait of Hormuz can affect the cost of fuel because of supply. Oil traders alter their valuations accordingly.

The big worry at the moment is the fall in the value of the pound. Sterling fell around 3 percent at the time of the election of the new prime minister Borris Johnson. That’s a fall from $1.26, to $1.22.

If the pound stays in its weakened state, oil could rise to over $70 a barrel, with commensurate fuel costs rises to follow.

How to slice your monthly fuel cost

“Sadly, July saw a return to rising pump prices, making the respite of June all too brief,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“While there were only relatively small rises in both petrol and diesel, the situation might have been far worse if the drop in the value of the pound had combined with the higher mid-month oil prices. And, of course this could still very easily prove to be the case if the pound doesn’t recover in the next few weeks.

“Drivers can only hope we don’t see the nasty combination of a rising oil price and a falling pound.

“This could easily lead to petrol going above the 2019 high of 130.67p seen at the start of June and diesel exceeding the year’s high point of 135.54p at the end of May.”

Fuel price war expected as Asda cuts petrol cost

fuel prices drops UK

Four months of record high prices could be coming to an end, if a predicted supermarket petrol price war comes to pass. Website PetrolPrices suggests Asda’s latest drop will send per-litre prices on the UK’s fuel forecourts tumbling.

Current petrol prices are circling the 130p per litre mark on average, but Asda is cutting 3p from a litre of diesel and 1p per litre of petrol from tomorrow.

In a move to mitigate near-unprecedented leaps in fuel costs – 11p for petrol and 7p for diesel between the beginning of February and end of May – Asda may start a chain reaction among other retailers.

fuel prices drops UK

Oil prices dropped by five percent over the course of last week, and Asda is being swift passing savings on to customers. Often, it can take up to a month before cost reductions per barrel are felt at the pumps.

“The news of supermarkets starting to drop prices is no doubt a good thing for motorists who have been suffering from price rises for four months now,” said Kitty Bates, consumer spokesperson at

“We would expect to see other supermarkets follow suit over the next couple of days as they start to compete on price, with independent retailers following this once they have sold through their existing stock.”

Below 120p a litre coming soon?

The drop in oil prices, from $72 a barrel to $67 a barrel, has been the steepest fall in six months. If the fullest extent of the savings is to be felt, prices per litre of fuel should reduce to nearer 120p per litre and possibly further still.

fuel prices drops UK

“There’s considerable scope for prices to continue to drop, as oil prices have fallen drastically in the past few days and we would expect them to either level out or potentially fall even further.”

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams agreed. “The drop in wholesale costs has been dramatic, meriting far bigger price reductions for both petrol and diesel. For this reason, we view this round of cuts very much as a good start. We should really see more in the next week or so.

“We would very much like to see retailers reflect wholesale price reductions more closely. This is particularly the case with diesel, which has been a similar price to petrol on the wholesale market for some time, yet is still 5p a litre more expensive on average on the forecourt.”