Record monthly drop in diesel prices

Image of fuel pumps at a petrol station

Fuel prices are finally coming down

Many factors have contributed to rising petrol and diesel prices over the past few years, but now it looks like we’re over the hill.

Let’s take a look at what’s causing fuel prices to finally fall.

How big is the price drop?

The RAC announced that the average price of diesel dropped by 12p in May, the largest drop since they began tracking fuel prices in 2000. Their data shows the average price dropped from 158.91p to 146.99p meaning the price of filling up a 55-litre family car dropped by approximately £6.50.

In contrast, petrol prices only dropped by an average of 3p – from 146.35p to 143.26p – a saving of only £1.70 per full tank.

Overall, this means diesel prices per litre have dropped 52p since the all-time high of 199p last summer – a saving of £28.60 per tank, while petrol is 48p lower, saving petrol car owners £26.40 per tank.

What caused fuel prices to drop?

While this price drop is record-breaking, RAC say that it should’ve happened sooner, and the price difference should’ve been bigger.

Wholesale prices of diesel have been lower than petrol for almost three months, but it’s only now that forecourt diesel prices are dropping by a significant amount.

The RAC says it’s ‘ironic’ that these price drops have only come about after the announcement that the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) would be interviewing supermarket bosses about their fuel prices.

Simon Wiliams, RAC fuel spokesperson said ‘it’s still galling to see that a litre of diesel is 8.5p cheaper in Northern Ireland than it is in the rest of the UK’ when asked about the diesel overcharging.

The diesel prices in Northern Ireland have been consistently lower than those in the rest of the UK, with a difference of as much as 10p at the end of April.

RAC suspects this is because supermarkets don’t have as much of a monopoly on fuel retailing in Northern Ireland as they do in the rest of the UK.

What’s next?

The CMA is yet to interview supermarket bosses about their fuel prices, but it remains to be seen whether the interviews and their results will have any effects on the retail price of petrol and diesel at supermarket forecourts.

RAC say that the market should be ‘heading for an average diesel price of 137p, similar to what drivers are paying in Northern Ireland – and a price the UK as a whole hasn’t seen since September 2021’.

1 Comment

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