The cost of filling up with a tank of fuel has risen for the seventh consecutive month according to the RAC. Data from the motoring organisation’s Fuel Watch shows that filling up with fuel now costs £8 more since November 2020 as the cost of crude oil rises.
At a price of 129.27p per litre, unleaded petrol is now more expensive than it was at the beginning of 2020, just before the pandemic started. Diesel, currently at 131.59p, has not yet topped the 132.00p a litre it reached in January last year.
In real terms, this means the average family car with a petrol tank that holds 55-litres will now cost £71.10 – or £72.37 for diesel cars – to fill up. This is roughly £8 more than before the first hike in fuel prices last November.
Drivers who fill up on the motorway are even more out of pocket with prices reaching 146.78p for petrol and 149.59p for diesel after 2p and 1.6p rises last month.
Purchasing fuel from one of the forecourts run by the four major supermarkets will currently save motorists approximately 4p a litre with the average price of supermarket petrol at 124.83p and diesel at 127.36p. The average increase in the cost of supermarket fuel mirrors the UK rise – which the RAC says is not surprising as, since the pandemic, they are now responsible for selling 60% of all the fuel in the UK.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams commented on the price hikes: “After a weekend which saw millions of cars take to the roads to enjoy a sunny bank holiday and a half term away from home the price of filling up with petrol has unfortunately reached its highest point in just shy of two years.
“After seven consecutive months of rising prices drivers will be wondering if the increases are ever going to end.”
“As always, the future of fuel prices is hard to predict more than a few weeks in advance and even more so now as the pandemic appears to have altered the dynamics of fuel retailing, with the supermarkets having an even greater stranglehold on the market.
“Looking at the wholesale price of both fuels, in normal circumstances unleaded definitely shouldn’t be continuing to rise with the numbers actually pointing to the potential for a 2p reduction. And diesel is currently 4p too expensive which suggests retailers are using the saving in the wholesale price to help make up for lower fuel sales over the last year.
“We urge retailers not to take advantage of drivers and fairly reflect what’s happening with wholesale prices on the country’s forecourts.”