Fleet News

Motorway diesel prices reach record high as petrol prices tumble

November saw the largest petrol price drop in four years as oil plummeted by 24% to $57 a barrel, reports the RAC.

However, the price of motorway diesel matched the record of April 2012 of 155.40 pence per litre (ppl).

The price of petrol fell by more than 5p per litre in November, the biggest monthly drop since January 2015 and the first major price reduction since June as retailers finally reacted to falling wholesale prices.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch shows unleaded fell from 130.61ppl to 125.43ppl (down 5.18p) in November, while diesel dropped 2.5p from 136.93ppl to 134.42ppl.

Petrol at the end of November was back to a price last seen in mid-May whereas diesel went back to its end of September level.

Despite the positive news at the pumps, the RAC’s analysis of wholesale fuel prices shows drivers have been overcharged on the forecourt to the tune of 10p a litre for unleaded and 7p for diesel, and average prices should still fall considerably over the course of the next fortnight if retailers play fair.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “The oil price plummeted by 24% throughout November which proved to be positive for motorists – indeed we haven’t seen such a large drop in average prices in nearly four years.

“Having finished October at $75, a barrel of crude ended the month only costing $57 which sent wholesale prices tumbling even though the value of sterling dropped by 2%.

“This should have translated to the average price of petrol being around 120p a litre, but retailers chose not to pass on the savings meaning the current average still remains unnecessarily high at 125.43p.

“While one of the big four supermarkets has consistently cut the price of unleaded the others haven’t by as much which has meant the UK average price didn’t drop as much as it should have done.”

Based on the RAC data, petrol still could come down by 7p a litre in the next two weeks and diesel by 5p. Williams said: “While this seems unlikely based on retailers’ current track record, we can only hope they are planning some cuts in the run-up to Christmas with a view to getting more shoppers into their stores.”

Wholesale unleaded began falling from mid-October but retailers were reluctant to reflect this on the forecourt despite the RAC highlighting the issue on numerous occasions, claimed Williams.

On November 29 the average price at the big four supermarkets was 121.27ppl for petrol and 130.96ppl for diesel.

Motorway services, which have been even slower to reduce their prices says the RAC, were charging an average of 145.40p for unleaded and 153.70p for diesel.

On November 20, however, the average price of diesel at services reached 155.40p a litre which matched the previous high of April 2012 when average fuel prices across the UK were at record levels.

Regional fuel price variation

Regional average unleaded pump prices

Scotland saw the largest reduction in the price of petrol throughout November with a 5.61p drop, exceeding the UK average fall of 5.18p.

The North East had the cheapest unleaded at both the start and end of the month, with a price of 123.92p being recorded on 29 November.

The East of England stole the title of the most expensive place to buy fuel from the South East with a litre costing 126.29p at the close of November – 2.37p more than it does in the North East.

Unleaded

01/11/2018

29/11/2018

Change

UK average

130.61

125.43

-5.18

Scotland

130.30

124.69

-5.61

London

130.88

125.28

-5.60

North East

129.44

123.92

-5.52

South East

131.42

126.04

-5.38

South West

131.12

125.83

-5.29

Yorkshire And The Humber

129.93

124.77

-5.16

East

131.42

126.29

-5.13

West Midlands

130.27

125.24

-5.03

Wales

129.76

124.73

-5.03

North West

130.15

125.30

-4.85

East Midlands

130.41

125.71

-4.70

Northern Ireland

129.79

125.24

-4.55

 

Regional average diesel pump prices

Northern Ireland not only enjoyed the greatest drop in the price of diesel, it was also the cheapest place in the UK to buy the fuel at 132.60p at the end of the month. The South East once again was the dearest for diesel at an average of 135.17p a litre.

Diesel

01/11/2018

29/11/2018

Change

UK average

136.93

134.42

-2.51

Northern Ireland

135.65

132.60

-3.05

London

137.38

134.72

-2.66

North East

136.50

133.86

-2.64

Scotland

137.11

134.50

-2.61

South East

137.78

135.17

-2.61

Wales

136.65

134.06

-2.59

East

137.47

134.92

-2.55

West Midlands

136.39

133.96

-2.43

East Midlands

136.89

134.49

-2.40

South West

136.96

134.58

-2.38

North West

136.78

134.46

-2.32

Yorkshire And The Humber

136.04

133.81

-2.23

 


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