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July was another bad month for drivers with petrol and diesel going up by 3p a litre

Written by on 4th August 2020

Second consecutive monthly fuel price rise means unleaded is now 7p a litre more expensive than it was at the end of May – diesel is 6p dearer.

The average price of petrol and diesel rose for the second consecutive month, adding nearly £2 to a fill up, according to RAC Fuel Watch data for July.*

Unleaded rose 3.21p a litre from 111.06p to 114.27p, which sent the cost of a 55-litre tank to £62.85 – an increase of £1.77. Diesel went up by a similar amount – 2.95p a litre – from 115.09p to 118.04p, making a complete fill-up £1.62p more expensive at £64.92.

The price of oil was stable throughout July finishing at $42.95 a barrel very similar to the beginning of the month. The wholesale price of petrol fell 2p across the month to 84.66p a litre, signalling that retailers should be reducing their pump prices slightly in the next week or two. Diesel also came down but only very slightly (0.22p) to 87.39p.

At the big four supermarkets, the average price of a litre of petrol increased by nearly 3.5p (3.43p) to 109.14p and diesel by 3.33p to 113.52p – this means refuelling at supermarket is an average of 5p a litre cheaper for unleaded and 4.5p for diesel.

Asda offered the cheapest supermarket unleaded by the end of July at 108.63p (up 2p) with the others all averaging just over 109p a litre. It also had the lowest price diesel at 112.68p ahead of Sainsbury’s on 113.39p – Morrisons and Tesco were both at 114p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “July was another bad month for drivers with a 3p a litre rise in the price of fuel. This means petrol’s 7p a litre more expensive than it was at the end of May (107p on 31 May) and diesel is 6p more (111.86p on 31 May), something drivers will no doubt have noticed as each complete fill-up is costing almost £2 more.

“The higher prices at the pump have been driven by the cost of oil increasing steadily to around $42 a barrel from a low of $13.21 in April. But drivers may well be given some respite as oil producers are planning on ramping up production despite the risk of renewed lockdowns around the world. This could easily lead to supply outstripping demand and therefore a reduction on the forecourts of the UK. As it there is some scope for retailers to already be reducing their prices. If they play fair with drivers we ought to see 2p a litre come off the price of unleaded and nearer 4p come off diesel.”

Regional fuel price variation

Regional average unleaded pump prices

Unleaded01/07/202030/07/2020Change
UK average111.06114.273.21
Wales109.74113.193.45
East111.17114.603.43
South West110.68114.103.42
Scotland110.84114.133.29
South East112.04115.253.21
London112.21115.383.17
North West110.69113.853.16
Yorkshire And The Humber110.62113.733.11
North East110.17113.253.08
West Midlands111.21114.273.06
East Midlands111.06114.113.05
Northern Ireland108.18111.203.02

Regional average diesel pump prices

Diesel01/07/202030/07/2020Change
UK average115.09118.042.95
East115.65118.923.27
Scotland114.67117.813.14
South East116.21119.343.13
North West114.53117.553.02
Wales114.11117.052.94
West Midlands115.27118.152.88
London116.18119.032.85
South West115.13117.972.84
North East114.02116.852.83
East Midlands115.21117.982.77
Yorkshire And The Humber114.72117.322.60
Northern Ireland111.97114.462.49

Green – cheapest/least; red – most expensive/most

Motorists can keep abreast of the latest fuel prices by visiting the RAC Fuel Watch webpage.