Fleet News

Fuel prices jump by 2p per litre in December

Person using fuel pump in filling station

Average fuel prices rose by 2p per litre in December because three major supermarkets introduced a 3p price hike.

The RAC says wholesale prices increased by only 1p per litre and argues that pump prices should be lower.

The average price of petrol went up from 114.39p to 116.46p (2.07p) and diesel from 117.72p to 120p (2.28p) over the course of the month.

On the wholesale market a litre of unleaded went up by 1.28p from 85.76p to 87.04p. Diesel rose by 1.11p from 88.33p to 89.44p. Looking at wholesale prices from two weeks ago – the time it takes for all retailers to replenish their stock, the RAC believes drivers should in fact be paying around 113p for petrol and 118p for diesel.

Of the four big supermarkets fuel retailers, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco all raised their forecourt prices by an average of 3p a litre, with only Asda matching the wholesale market price increase by raising its prices by around 1.5p a litre.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s very disappointing to see some of our biggest fuel retailers putting up their prices over and above the increases seen on the wholesale market. There’s a definite feeling that they have been trying to protect themselves for what was to come in terms of further coronavirus restrictions.

“While wholesale prices went up very slightly in December our data shows there should be scope to lower forecourt prices rather than put them up. Retailers will no doubt argue that the pandemic is leading to drivers filling up far less so their ‘per litre’ profits are considerably down, and Monday’s announcement of another lockdown will be treated as justification for their decision not to pass savings on at the pumps.

“Unfortunately, those who still need to fill up regularly are having to pay more than they should be as, by our calculations, both fuels should actually come down by 3p a litre in the next fortnight.”

Regional pump prices compared:

Unleaded

01/12/2020

30/12/2020

Change

UK average

114.39

116.46

2.07

East

114.36

116.94

2.58

East Midlands

114.22

116.37

2.15

London

115.50

117.48

1.98

North East

113.24

115.30

2.06

North West

114.44

116.13

1.69

Northern Ireland

110.76

112.62

1.86

Scotland

114.15

115.89

1.74

South East

115.24

117.45

2.21

South West

114.25

116.55

2.30

Wales

113.26

115.31

2.05

West Midlands

114.20

116.34

2.14

Yorkshire And The Humber

113.78

116.03

2.25

 

Diesel

01/12/2020

30/12/2020

Change

UK average

117.72

120

2.28

East

118.36

120.84

2.48

East Midlands

117.68

120.07

2.39

London

118.27

120.43

2.16

North East

116.63

119.00

2.37

North West

117.49

119.47

1.98

Northern Ireland

113.36

115.45

2.09

Scotland

117.43

119.77

2.34

South East

118.90

121.32

2.42

South West

117.53

120.20

2.67

Wales

116.84

119.43

2.59

West Midlands

117.78

119.90

2.12

Yorkshire And The Humber

117.09

119.60

2.51


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