The cost of petrol fell in October ending three consecutive months of increases, but the good news is likely to end there as price rises are looming large due to the oil price going above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than two years (2 July 2015).
RAC Fuel Watch data for October shows a litre of unleaded went down from 118.84p at the beginning of the month to 118.17p by the close – a fall of 0.67p. Diesel, however, rose for the fourth month in a row, going up 0.59p from 120.21p to 120.80p a litre.
A barrel of oil saw a 9% increase finishing the month $5 higher at $60.98. Even though sterling remained comparatively strong against the dollar averaging $1.32 in October it is unlikely to be enough to prevent some pump price rises due to the rising cost of oil.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “At the start of October there was a 6p saving in the wholesale price of unleaded which retailers eventually passed on to motorists in pump price reductions. This month, however, the situation is reversed and the petrol wholesale price has gone up by 4p.
“Inevitably, this increase will be passed on to motorists on the forecourt far more quickly than the cuts were made last month, but that is unfortunately the nature of ‘big’ fuel retailing: pass on wholesale rises quickly and cling on to savings for as long as possible.
“Motorists may yet be spared from large pump prices if the United States takes advantage of the higher oil price to bring more fracking rigs online as this will bring more product on to the market, no doubt easing the barrel price.
“The US is already exporting two million barrels a day when not so long ago it was a nett importer of oil. OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is unlikely to welcome this as it is doing its best to limit supply to make the oil price go up. Unfortunately for motorists, a return to the OPEC oversupply strategy that caused the low pump prices of early 2016 doesn’t seem likely.
“Eyes will also switch to the Chancellor who delivers his Budget this month, and with higher wholesale costs filtering down to the forecourts, the last thing they’ll want to see is an increase in fuel duty. We urge the Chancellor to resist this and leave the rate unchanged.”
The average price of a litre of unleaded at the UK’s four biggest supermarkets is 114.81p – 1p less than it was at the start of October, while diesel is nearly a penny more expensive, going up from 116.82p to 117.72p.
Filling up a 55-litre family car with petrol at the national average price of 118.17p now costs £64.99. The diesel equivalent is £66.44.
Regional fuel price variation
Wales saw the largest drop in the price of unleaded in October with a litre coming down by a penny to 117.62p. Northern Ireland saw the smallest increase, at the same time keeping its title as the cheapest place to buy petrol with a litre costing only 117.41p on average. The South East was once again the most expensive at 118.65p a litre at the end of October.
For diesel Scotland suffered the greatest increase at 1.03p taking an average litre to 121.27p. It was only slightly cheaper than the South East which had the dearest diesel at 121.39p. Northern Ireland had the cheapest at 119.62p.
Regional average unleaded pump prices
|Yorkshire And The Humber||118.57||117.83||-0.74|
|Yorkshire And The Humber||119.73||120.39||0.66|
Notes to Editors
* Average fuel prices quoted in theRAC Fuel Watch October report are based on Experian Catalist data from 2 to 31 October 2017. Wholesale prices were analysed over the same period.
For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press office team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours.
Our press team can:
- Answer all RAC-related media enquiries
- Provide comment on all topical UK motoring stories
- Provide motoring research and data to inform debate
- Give motoring advice for broadcast or publication
- Arrange interviews with RAC spokespeople - ISDN radio studio facilities available
You can also follow the RAC press office on Twitter: twitter.com/RACPress
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.
- RAC patrols fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside and on average within 30 minutes
- RAC vans carry more than 500 parts and tools to get members’ vehicles going again
- 92% of members would recommend RAC Rescue to their friends and family