Record gap between average UK price of petrol and diesel

Photo: Skitterphoto at Pexels

The gap between the average UK price of petrol and diesel has surpassed 20p a litre for the first time ever. According to data from RAC Fuel Watch, as of 12th October, drivers were paying an average of 163.13p for unleaded, while diesel had climbed to 183.94p.

The wholesale price of refined fuel has increased following the announcement from oil producer group OPEC+ a week ago that it was cutting production by two million barrels a day.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Since OPEC and its allies agreed to reduce oil supply substantially we’ve seen the price of wholesale diesel go up by 9p a litre and petrol by 4p a litre. This has led to the average price of diesel going up by almost 4p a litre and petrol by nearly a penny. Sadly for diesel drivers, the situation seems certain to get worse.”

Fuel prices had been falling back from recent record highs. The average UK pump price of petrol fell by 6.69p in September 2022, constituting the biggest monthly price drop since the year 2000. The cut saved drivers an average of £3.69 on a tank of unleaded.

What makes up the cost of a litre of fuel?

The price you pay for petrol and diesel at the pumps is governed by wholesale fuel prices, which in turn, are affected by:

  • the global price of crude oil
  • supply and demand for crude oil
  • oil refinery production and capacity
  • the pound to dollar exchange rate, as refined fuel is sold in US dollars per metric tonne
  • distribution costs
  • the margin fuel retailers decide to take
  • fuel duty charged by the Government, currently 52.95p a litre
  • VAT charged at the end of every forecourt fuel transaction, currently at 20%

What’s your view on fuel prices in the UK?
Do we pay too much for our petrol and diesel? How would you change things?

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