RAC Cars News


Petrol Price Rises Spark New Anger

By raccars Published

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Motoring groups are expressing concern and disgust as it seems the price of petrol is rising again in the UK, although the price of oil continues to fall. Some cheaper fuel campaigners claim that British motorists are being 'fleeced,' as after months of paying only £1.06 for a litre of unleaded and £1.13 for diesel, the price of filling your car's tank has now risen by £3 to £4.

However, while the price of petrol has gone up, the price of oil has dipped again in the last few weeks. In March, the price of a barrel of oil went back up to $60 and then dipped to $54, thanks to international competition. Campaigners have complained that these price falls have not been passed on to customers, as fuel companies are making the most of high demand internationally and charging top price to supply supermarkets.

An annual quirk in the market which sees oil production limited by maintenance to refineries happens to occur just as the US sees increased demand for oil, provoking a spike in the price. As a result, since February the price of petrol in the UK has gone up by seven pence per litre and diesel by 5.3p. Motoring groups are concerned that British families will struggle to cope with the higher price, as wage increases are not matching oil price spikes, and are encouraging the continuation of the fuel duty freeze by whichever party becomes the next Government.

Fuel prices in the UK are expected to follow an upward trend until mid-summer, barring a major oil price dip.

Retailers have also come under criticism for charging a premium on diesel. Usually costing about 2p more per litre than petrol, at the moment diesel is on average 5p more expensive per litre than petrol. It has been suggested that diesel drivers are being forced to make up for shorter profit margins on petrol, even though the wholesale price of both fuels is very similar.

As usual, the government has also taken some criticism, as fuel duty accounts for 70% of the price of a litre of fuel and motoring groups believe cash squeezed British citizens should be given a break.

In the interests of transparency, campaigners are urging oil firms to publicly release wholesale prices, so that motorists can see who is making an extra profit from the dip in price.

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