UK petrol and diesel prices rise for second consecutive month

Britain has seen a second consecutive month of fuel price rises on forecourts, despite a reduction in the wholesale price of petrol and diesel.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch reveals the average price of unleaded rose by 3.21p a litre from 111.06p to 114.27p across the month. This resulted in the cost of filling up a 55-litre tank rising by £1.77. Diesel rose by 2.95p a litre to 118.04p, adding £1.62 to the price of an equivalent fill-up. 

Despite the big four supermarkets (Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) raising their prices by slightly above average, they remain an average of 5p per litre cheaper for petrol and 4.5p a litre cheaper for diesel compared with traditional fuel retailers. 

“The higher prices at the pump have been driven by the cost of oil increasing steadily to around $42 (£32) a barrel from a low of $13.21 (£10) in April,” says RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams. “But drivers may well be given some respite as oil producers are planning on ramping up production despite the risk of renewed lockdowns around the world.

“This could easily lead to supply outstripping demand and therefore a reduction on the forecourts of the UK,” Williams added. “As it is, there is some scope for retailers to already be reducing their prices.” 

For example, the wholesale price of petrol fell by 2p a litre across the month to 84.66p a litre, while diesel fell by a more modest 0.22p to 87.39p. 

In regional average terms, London remains the most expensive place to refuel a car, with an average of 115.38p a litre for unleaded at the end of the month. Wales saw the biggest increase throughout July, however, rising by 3.45p a litre.