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Image: Getty (all rights reserved)
Image: Getty (all rights reserved)

Press release -

Fuel falls for second straight month but is still too expensive

Fuel prices fell for the second consecutive month but not by as much as they should have with a litre of petrol reducing by 3p and diesel by nearly 4p, analysis of RAC Fuel Watch* shows.

At the end of June the average price of petrol across the UK was just under 145p a litre – down from 148p at the start of the month. Diesel dropped to under 150p (150.13p) for the first time since early February, from 153.74p. This means it now costs around £80 (£79.76) to fill up a 55-litre family car with petrol and £82.57 for the diesel equivalent.

While the cost of oil began June trading under $80 a barrel it steadily increased, finishing the month around $86. But even though this increase has caused the wholesale price of fuel to go up slightly, it remains the case that both petrol and diesel are still too expensive on forecourts in England, Wales and Scotland.

Only drivers in Northern Ireland are getting a fairer deal at the pumps as a litre of petrol there sells for an average of just 140.5p – 4.5p cheaper than the UK average. Diesel is 142p – an incredible 8p less than the UK-wide price.

The big four supermarkets – Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – lowered their prices by an average of 4p for both petrol and diesel in June which meant the average cost of a litre fell to 142p for petrol and 147p for diesel. The difference between their cheapest and most expensive sites ranges from just 6p for petrol at Tesco sites, to 10p at Morrisons, 13p at Sainsbury’s and 35p at Asda – the latter is affected by the fact the retailer now has 665 sites, many of which are non-supermarket forecourts since it acquired the 350-strong Euro Garages portfolio.

For diesel, the gap is bigger. Tesco still has the smallest difference between its high and low prices at 9p, whereas at Morrisons it’s 15p and at Sainsbury’s it’s 16p, while at Asda is a shocking 38p.

Petrol bought at the 535 sites run by oil giant Shell is the most expensive in the UK at an average of 149p – 4p more than the UK average and 8.5p more than in Northern Ireland. BP-operated forecourts are not far behind with an average of 146.5p. Shell also has the highest average for diesel at 155p – 5p more than the UK average and a whopping 13p more than the average in Northern Ireland. BP’s average is 152p across the 287 sites it owns and runs.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “While it’s good news prices at the pumps have fallen for the second month in a row, this also leaves a bad taste in the mouth because we know drivers in Great Britain are continuing to get a raw deal as both petrol and diesel are still much more expensive than in Northern Ireland.

“This month’s Fuel Watch report also reveals just how expensive fuel is when bought at forecourts owned and run by oil giants Shell and BP. We remain baffled how the very same fuel can be sold for such vastly different prices by the biggest retailers, whether they’re run by supermarkets or the world’s largest oil companies.

“It’s also the case that while oil has increased from under $80 at the start of June to the mid-$80s by the end, wholesale costs are still low enough to merit cheaper prices at the pumps. Looking at the fairer average prices charged in Northern Ireland, petrol should be 4.5p lower across England, Scotland and Wales and diesel should be a whole 8p less.

“We will continue to highlight this disparity, along with the massive differences between major retailers’ high and low prices, to the new government and the Competition and Markets Authority with a view to them being addressed by the new Pumpwatch scheme when it is up and running."

Motorists looking to save money on their fill-ups should take advantage of the fuel finder feature in the free myRAC app. The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Up to nine searches a day can be made over a two, five or 10-mile radius, with each giving the five cheapest prices.

The online RAC Fuel Watch resource has more information about the average price of petrol and diesel at the big four supermarkets and at motorway services. It also features graphs showing average prices since 2000 as well as a daily financial breakdown of the cost of a litre of petrol and diesel.



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About the RAC

The RAC, an iconic UK brand, provides complete peace of mind to nearly 14 million UK private and business drivers, whatever their motoring needs. As well as its premium nationwide breakdown assistance service – with an expert branded patrol workforce attending more than two million breakdowns every year – it offers a wide range of market-leading products across insurance, legal services, vehicle inspections and service, maintenance and repair. Included in this is the first-of-its-kind nationwide Mobile Mechanics service which brings the garage to homes and workplaces.

At the forefront of new solutions for business fleets and consumers, the RAC’s breakdown service is electric-ready with mobile EV charging technology and can be called on using myRAC – the all-in-one route planner, fuel finder and breakdown reporting app.

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