Why are petrol and diesel prices rising again?

Person putting fuel in their car

Fuel prices are creeping up again

If you think fuel prices slowly creeping up again, you’re not seeing things. Fuel prices have been on the rise in the last few months, but what’s causing it? 

Rising wholesale prices 

Retailers have wasted no time reflecting the rising wholesale prices in their fuel prices. 

At the start of July, oil cost $74 a barrel, and by the end of the month it was $85.56, which is still the current price. This is the highest price of a barrel of oil since April.  

Since mid-July the pound has fallen against the US dollar, going from $1.31 to $1.27, making the rising wholesale price of oil all the more evident. 

Over the weekend, petrol prices reached an average of £149.13p per litre an average price that hasn’t been seen since February. The lowest average price of petrol this year was £143.04p on 7 June. 

Diesel has risen to an average of £150.61p per litre, the last time it was above that level was in May. The lowest average price of diesel this year was £144.31p on 18 July. 

How is the government helping? 

Energy secretary Grant Shapps has said he won’t hesitate to call out any ‘foot-dragging’ when it comes to companies sharing pump price data with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).  

The CMA is planning to launch a temporary voluntary system for retailers to publish fuel prices by the end of the month. The idea of this system is for retailers to publish daily prices so consumers can see the difference in price between days.  

ASDA has already publicly committed to sharing live fuel price data across its forecourts in the UK – currently they are the only fuel retailer to do so. 

Shapps has also said that the government ‘remains committed’ to creating a mandatory open data scheme for retailers ‘as soon as possible’.  

Director of the RAC Steve Gooding said: “We can only hope [fuel retailers] calculate how much they really need to charge to cover their costs.” 

If you want to know how you can find the cheapest fuel prices, check out our blog about the RAC fuel finder app. 


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