Pump prices rose by more than a penny a litre in April, but a drop in the price of oil in the second half of the month and a jump in the value of the pound means retailers are now in a position to pass on a cut to motorists imminently.
The RAC’s latest Fuel Watch data shows the average price of unleaded went up 1.44p a litre to 118.85p in April, with the average diesel price increasing by 1.17p to 120.53p.
This means it currently costs a motorist driving a 55-litre petrol car £65.37 to fill up – a 79p rise in April. The diesel equivalent is £66.29 – an increase of 64p from the beginning of the month.
However, a fall in the price of a barrel of oil from a mid-month high of $55 to a low of $49.41 on Thursday 27 April meant the wholesale price of petrol ended at 3.5p lower than at the start of April. The wholesale price of diesel finished the month 2.5p cheaper.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says: “April wasn’t a good month for fuel prices but motorists have every right to expect an early May petrol and diesel cut from retailers of 2p a litre at the very least.
“The combination of a lower oil price and a 4% rise in the value of the pound has made it far cheaper for retailers to buy in their fuel. In the interest of transparency this saving should be passed on to motorists on the forecourt in the next few days.”
South East most expensive for fuel while Northern Ireland is cheapest
The North East saw the largest jump in the price of petrol at 1.85p a litre to 118.07p. Wales had the lowest increase at just over a penny per litre. The South East once again had the highest average price for unleaded at 119.49p a litre, while Wales was the cheapest at 118.01p per litre.
In terms of diesel prices, Scotland suffered the biggest rise at 1.67p a litre, taking the average price to 120.40p a litre. Northern Ireland and London saw the smallest increase at 1p per litre. Northern Ireland also had the cheapest diesel in the UK in April, finishing the month at 119.37p a litre whereas the South East had the most expensive at 121.25p.