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Motorists hit by fourth straight month of fuel price rises

Press Release   •   Jul 05, 2016 00:01 BST

The average prices of petrol and diesel have increased for the fourth month running, according to RAC Fuel Watch data for June, but wholesale fuel prices have only risen very slightly as a result of the pound weakening after the UK voted to leave the EU.

Unleaded went up 1.5p a litre (110.69p to 112.17p) and diesel by 1.66p (110.73p to 112.39p) in a month which saw oil rise from $48 to an early high of $50.73 and then fall to a mid-month low of $45.95 before finishing June on $48 again, coupled, of course, with the pound hitting a 31-year low against the dollar.

The impact of the 11% post-referendum fall in the value of the pound was softened by a simultaneous 6% drop in the oil price, meaning wholesale prices were largely unaffected. The pound ended the month 7% weaker – $1.43 to $1.34.

The forecourt price rise, which has seen unleaded go up more than 10p a litre from 101.91p at the start of March to 112.17p at the end of June, means the cost of filling an average petrol family car has increased by £5.64 to £61.69 in four months. The June pump price rise added 81p (£60.88 to £61.69) to the cost of a tank of petrol and 91p (£60.90 to £61.81) to a complete diesel fill-up. Diesel is now nearly 11p more expensive than at the beginning of March (101.56p to 112.39p), making a tank £5.96 dearer.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "June was another bad month for motorists with the price of petrol going up again. While it was only a penny and a half it makes for a rise of more than 10p since the start of March. Filling up with unleaded is now £5.64 more expensive which is enough to make an unpleasant dent in household budgets up and down the country, especially for those who have more than one car or need to fill up regularly.

“But it is good news that fuel prices are so far weathering the Brexit storm; wholesale prices have remained relatively stable after an initial small upward jolt as a result of the pound falling on news of the referendum result. The fact the oil price dropped at the same time lessened the negative effect of the pound’s devaluation. We may well see pump prices rise slightly in July, but current indications are that this is unlikely to be the shock rise some were predicting.

“The lower cost of a barrel of oil plays the greatest part in keeping forecourt prices down. It’s also worth remembering that compared to a year ago we are still paying around 5p less for petrol and nearly 8.5p less for diesel.

“While economists are saying the pound is unlikely to recover the ground it lost against the dollar so dramatically the day after the referendum, the oil price looks likely to stay around the $50 mark for some time due to OPEC’s continued over production strategy. There is also a hope that prices might even fall once various issues that have hindered production around the world are resolved.”

UK fuel price variation

Across the UK, the South West and East Anglia saw the largest rises in average petrol prices at 1.7p a litre, while Scotland underwent the biggest diesel price increase at 1.76p. Scotland’s fortunes with unleaded though were far better, undergoing the smallest increase in the UK at just 1.23p a litre. The East Midlands saw the smallest diesel increase at 1.48p. Northern Ireland was still the cheapest place to buy both petrol and diesel in the UK with petrol at 110.99p and diesel at 110.64p. And, the South East kept its title of being the most expensive place to buy fuel with unleaded at an average of 112.70p and diesel at 113.05p.

Petrol 01/06/2016 30/06/2016 Change
UK average 110.69 112.17 1.48
South West 110.75 112.45 1.70
East Anglia 110.65 112.35 1.70
South East 111.06 112.70 1.64
Northern Ireland 109.38 110.99 1.61
North 110.44 111.88 1.44
North West 110.48 111.88 1.40
Yorkshire And Humber 110.29 111.67 1.38
East Midlands 110.63 111.95 1.32
Wales 110.41 111.72 1.31
West Midlands 110.90 112.20 1.30
Scotland 110.46 111.69 1.23
Diesel 01/06/2016 30/06/2016 Change
UK average 110.73 112.39 1.66
Scotland 110.55 112.31 1.76
East Anglia 110.92 112.67 1.75
South East 111.33 113.05 1.72
Yorkshire And Humber 110.25 111.93 1.68
South West 110.97 112.64 1.67
West Midlands 110.77 112.43 1.66
North 110.24 111.84 1.60
Wales 110.31 111.90 1.59
North West 110.48 112.04 1.56
Northern Ireland 109.15 110.64 1.49
East Midlands 110.79 112.27 1.48

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

Notes to Editors

* The core data for the June RAC Fuel Watch report is based on an analysis of Experian Catalist average prices from 1 June to 30 June 2016.

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With more than eight million members, the RAC 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, including advancing levels of road safety, supporting the needs of young drivers and voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring. 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. This 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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