Posted: Fri 5th Jan 2024

Petrol drops by 6p a litre in December

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 5th, 2024

The average price of petrol across the UK fell by 6p per litre in December, from 146.69p to 140.58p, marking the second consecutive monthly decrease.

This reduction brought the cost of a full 55-litre tank to £77.32, saving drivers £3.40 compared to the previous month.

Diesel prices also experienced a decline, dropping by 5p to 149.18p per litre.

The price of unleaded petrol is now back to levels last seen in early February 2022, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine caused oil prices to surge to around $130 per barrel. The current price of a barrel is now under $80.

Despite these reductions, the RAC has raised concerns that prices at the nation’s forecourts could be lower.

In December, the average supermarket margin on a litre of fuel was 13p, more than double the amount taken in 2021.

This has led to calls for the big four supermarkets to reduce their margins and offer fairer prices to consumers.

In a striking comparison, petrol in Northern Ireland is 5p cheaper than the UK average, priced at just 135.28p per litre, and diesel is also 5p less at 144.2p.

Both fuels are cheaper than the averages charged at the big four supermarkets in the UK.

An independent forecourt in Whitchurch, Shropshire, is significantly undercutting supermarket prices, charging 130.9p for petrol and 139.9p for diesel, highlighting the disparities in fuel pricing across the country.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams commented on the situation, saying, “It’s clearly good news that both petrol and diesel came down substantially in December.

However, it’s still galling to know that drivers aren’t being charged a fair price in comparison to Northern Ireland where the very same petrol and diesel is at least 5p a litre cheaper.”

The RAC continues to urge the biggest retailers to lower their prices to match those in Northern Ireland and calls on Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho to bring greater transparency to fuel pricing.

This follows a Competition and Markets Authority investigation that concluded drivers were overcharged by £900m in 2022.

RAC Fuel Watch data also shows that the delivered wholesale price of petrol is 104p. Even with a margin of 10p a litre, unleaded should be on sale for an average of 137p, instead of the current 140.6p.

Simon Williams added, “In spite of the current overcharging, we strongly hope that 2024 will be the year when drivers finally get to see fairer pump prices.” This statement reflects the ongoing concern among UK motorists regarding the high cost of fuel and the need for more equitable pricing strategies.

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