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Petrol and diesel prices rise again - and it now costs £11 more to fill up than a year ago



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Petrol prices have risen for the ninth month in a row, according to the RAC, which says it now costs about £11 more to fill up an average car.

Motorists will not welcome it, but environmental groups will hope the rising cost of motoring will encourage more people to leave the car at home, or switch to electric vehicles.

The RAC said drivers are facing “relentless” increases in the cost of petrol and diesel at UK forecourts this summer.

RAC confirms petrol and diesel prices have risen again
RAC confirms petrol and diesel prices have risen again

Last month another 3.4p was added to the cost of a litre of petrol, and 2.7p for diesel, making it the most expensive July to fill-up since 2013 for drivers of petrol cars and since 2014 for those needing diesel.

Nationally, on average a litre of unleaded now costs 135.13p – a price not seen since late September 2013. This is already up from 131.76p at the start of the month.

In Cambridge, the average unleaded litre as of August 5 costs 135.4p. Across the East of England, the RAC says the average at the end of July was 135.71p, up 3.45p from 132.26p a year ago.

Nationally, diesel, meanwhile, costs on average 137.06p per litre, up from 134.36p. In the East, the average is higher still at 138p, up 3.04p from 134.96p a year ago.

That means that drivers filling up a 55-litre car with petrol face paying £11 more for a tank compared to just a year ago.

For motorists filling their car with diesel, the cost for a full tank is on average around £10.40 more than it was last summer.

How petrol and diesel prices have risen. Graph: RAC Fuel Watch (49930051)
How petrol and diesel prices have risen. Graph: RAC Fuel Watch (49930051)

What is behind the fuel cost rise?

Demand for oil is increasing, pushing up prices.

The RAC says this is driven by hopes of a global recovery from the pandemic, vaccine programmes continuing to make progress and the easing of restrictions being eased in many places. As demand outstrips supply, wholesale fuel prices are being pushed up, and this is being passed on to drivers.

How can I save on fuel prices?

The RAC advises that drivers will find the best value fuel at supermarkets this summer.

At these, the price for a litre of petrol is around 3p cheaper compared to the average and will be 16p less than the cost of fuel at motorway service stations.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Prices really are only going one way at the moment – and that’s not the way drivers want to see them going. With a second summer staycation in full swing, it’s proving to be a particularly costly one for many families who are using their cars to holiday here in the UK.

“With so many people depending on their vehicles, there’s really nothing drivers can do to escape the high prices, and our best advice is for them to drive as economically as possible in order to try to make their money go further.”

Those planning to load up the car and holiday this summer are being advised to use supermarkets for the lowest fuel prices
Those planning to load up the car and holiday this summer are being advised to use supermarkets for the lowest fuel prices

What is the long-term outlook for prices at the pumps?

Mr Williams said it was difficult to see a time when prices might begin falling again, with demand for oil only likely to pick up as countries try and emerge from the pandemic.

He explained: "Unless major oil producing nations decide a new strategy to increase output, we could very well see forecourt prices going even higher towards the end of the summer.

“If there is any good news at all, it is that prices would need to rise significantly further – by a further 3p – to reach the highest prices we saw in 2013. But that’s no comfort for the millions of drivers who are faced with paying so much more for fuel than they have done in many years."

E10 petrol is coming to forecourts

The cost of petrol has risen for the ninth month in a row and shows no signs of slowing
The cost of petrol has risen for the ninth month in a row and shows no signs of slowing

In the next few months E10 petrol will also replace E5 as the standard grade of fuel in the UK because it is more environmentally friendly. But the roll-out is estimated to not be compatible with around 600,000 cars on the road in the UK and drivers are being warned to check - you can find more details here.

Classic cars, or what the government also refers to as ‘cherished’ and older vehicles, some models of moped particularly those with an engine size of 50cc or under and some specific makes and models of car from the early 2000s are among those which may not be able to take the new petrol on board.

Read more

How to check if the new E10 petrol being rolled out to forecourts is compatible with your car

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