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Fuel prices rise for the third consecutive month but RAC expects a cut

Press Release   •   Oct 03, 2017 00:01 BST

The cost of fuel rose for the third consecutive month in September despite the wholesale price of petrol falling 6p a litre.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch shows the average cost of a litre of unleaded went up by nearly 1p a litre (0.83p) to 119.19p while diesel increased by 1.34p to 120.31p, making both fuels the most expensive they have been since March. Both petrol and diesel have gone up 2.5p a litre since the end of June.

While prices rose in September the RAC is expecting a petrol cut from retailers in the next few days due to the falling wholesale price. The drop in the wholesale price has occurred despite oil going up 10% to almost $60 a barrel – its highest point since the summer of 2015. The effect of this would normally mean pump price rises but a slight resurgence in the strength of the pound, which rallied by 4% across the month, has counteracted this as fuel, like oil, is traded in dollars.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We saw the supermarkets cut 2p a litre off petrol in late September as a result of the lower wholesale price. But there is now scope for a further round of pump price reductions as wholesale unleaded is 6p a litre cheaper than it was at the start of September.

“If the big retailers were to play fair with motorists we would see at least another 2p a litre come off unleaded at the pump. This would be good news as it would drive the price of unleaded down from 119p a litre towards 117p. Unfortunately, the wholesale price of diesel is static so we won’t be seeing any cuts there.

“With oil up to its highest price since early July 2015 motorists have been saved from steeper prices by the pound which has gained in strength. Without this drivers would be paying far more for their fuel. The late September petrol and diesel cut from the supermarkets was a demonstration of how important a favourable exchange rate is on the forecourt.”

Filling up a 55-litre family car with petrol now costs £65.55 whereas in early July the same tank of fuel would have cost £62.88 as a litre was 114.33p. A typical tank of diesel now costs £66.17 – £1.34 more than it did at the end of August. In early July, however, the figure would have been £63.26.

Motorists can keep abreast of the latest fuel prices by visiting: rac.co.uk/fuelwatch or following #racfuelwatch on Twitter.

Notes to Editors

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About the RAC

First formed in 1897 the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of motorists for 120 years.

Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. RAC Fuel Watch is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.

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