Fuel prices: petrol and diesel costs fall in Britain

Are fuel prices finally reversing? Data shows first ‘significant’ drop in petrol and diesel costs for more than a year as wholesale costs fall

  • Petrol and diesel prices have fallen by about half a cent in the past week
  • The last time there was a decrease in this amount was early November 2020
  • A year ago lead free fell half a cent to 114p – 33p cheaper than today
  • Automotive groups urged retailers to cut prices after oil fell $10 on Friday
  • The AA says the absence of a fuel price war for Christmas markets in 2021 has helped keep prices high


According to the latest report, the country’s motorists have seen the first ‘significant’ drop in average fuel pump prices since November 2020, after more than five weeks of record high costs at gas stations.

Prices have fallen by about half a cent on average over the past week, with petrol prices falling to 147.28 pa-litres, while diesel also fell to 150.64p.

The last time petrol prices at petrol stations fell by this amount within a week was in November 2020, when unleaded was 114 pence per liter – about 33 pence cheaper than today.

The AA says the absence of a ‘fuel price war’ in the Christmas supermarket so far in 2021 has helped keep prices high, with Asda traditionally being the first to trigger austerity measures at retailers.

Have fuel prices finally reversed? Petrol and diesel have fallen by about half a cent in the past week. The last time drivers saw such a drop was early November 2020

Drivers across the country are desperate for a drop in pump prices after months of continued increases, wiping out the record nine-year price for both petrol and diesel in late October.

The new UK record for the average price of unleaded is 147.72 pa-litre, set on 21 November. For diesel, the record came a day earlier when the average pump price reached 151.10 pence on November 20.

With oil prices falling $10 a barrel Friday amid concerns over the outbreak of the Omicron variant, motorists have urged retailers to cut costs for cash-strapped motorists.

The AA says wholesale prices paid by fuel companies fell in the final days of November, but retailers have prevented those savings from being passed on to customers.

After peaking above 54.5 per liter per liter in the second week of November, wholesale petrol prices for retailers fell to 49 cents per liter early last week and below 43 cents per liter yesterday.

It means retailers could have offered discounts of up to 12p-per-litre in recent days, but instead kept skyrocketing fuel costs.

The AA says the lack of a 'fuel price war' in the Christmas supermarket so far in 2021 has helped keep prices high, with ASDA traditionally being the first to trigger austerity measures at retailers

The AA says the lack of a ‘fuel price war’ in the Christmas supermarket so far in 2021 has helped keep prices high, with ASDA traditionally being the first to trigger austerity measures at retailers

Automotive groups this week called on the government to step in and investigate why retailers have refused to cut their gas station prices in the face of wholesale cost cuts, with the RAC saying the industry is ‘worst of the ‘rocket and spring behavior’ complied with’ and , with the result that they ‘lose all credibility with drivers’.

The AA says the traditional “fuel price war” between major supermarkets — usually with the big four seeing pump prices drop in the run-up to Christmas to lure shoppers into their stores — has so far failed to materialize in 2021 and is contributing to fuel costs remain high.

“The dramatic drop in the wholesale cost of petrol and diesel has been so strong that a drop in pump prices has become inevitable. It just took so much longer than it has in years,” said Luke Bosdet, the AA’s spokesman for fuel prices.

“Besides the lack of movement in pump prices, even after a fortnight of falling wholesale costs, another striking feature is the failure of supermarkets to take the initiative as they have done in the past.

“In the past, the market would wait for Asda or Morrisons to announce a price cut before moving.

‘Without that first kick, pump prices have stagnated and that is a potentially worrying development if it sets the direction for the future.

In plain pounds, shillings and pence, if a supermarket makes a big deal on discounts of £2 or £3 off the store bill, but recovers £2 to £3 per tank by not passing savings on to the pump, the consumer must to take that into account.

‘And meanwhile, the majority of the non-supermarket forecourts are very happy to play along.’

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