Petrol and diesel prices have both risen by nearly 1p a litre, according to data on July prices from the latest RAC Fuel Watch report.
A litre of unleaded now costs 115.17p on average, having risen by 0.7p since the beginning of July, when it cost 114.47p. Diesel has increased a similar amount, 0.73p a litre, taking average prices from 115.27p to 116p. It’s the first time fuel prices have risen in three months.
Despite this, the average price of fuel is still is still lower than the 2017 high seen in February, when a litre of petrol cost 120.45p and a litre of diesel cost 122.35p.
A tank of petrol for a typical 55-litre family car now costs £63.34, £2.90 less than it cost in February, and a tank of diesel costs £63.80, which is £3.49 cheaper.
Compared to June, a tank of unleaded is now 25p more expensive and a tank of diesel costs 24p more.
According to the RAC, the rises are due to a 6% increase in the price of oil, which contributed to a 2% rise in the wholesale cost of both fuels. The RAC warns the effects of this may be felt by motorists in the coming weeks.
However, RAC spokesman, Simon Williams, says the direction of pump prices within the near future is still difficult to predict. He explains: “Even though wholesale prices have increased, the strengthening of sterling in the last week has somewhat softened the effect of the oil price rise. There may well be some short-term small increases on the forecourt but it is important to realise there is still a global oil glut despite attempts from the OPEC producers group to curb production and boost the barrel price.
“Fortunately, a barrel of oil is still quite a lot cheaper than it was at the end of March when it was just over $55 so this doesn’t automatically signal forecourt price rises.”
North East sees biggest price increase
Regionally, the North East saw the biggest increase in the price of unleaded over the month of July, with the cost of a litre rising by 0.98p from 113.82p to 114.80p.
At the beginning of July, Wales had the cheapest petrol in the UK, however by the end of the month Northern Ireland’s petrol was cheapest, having remained at 114p for the entire month. As is often the case, the South East had the most expensive petrol throughout July, ending the month at 155.58p a litre.
London saw the greatest rise in the price of diesel with a litre increasing by 0.88p to 166.28p. Northern Ireland experienced the smallest price rise by just 0.22p to 114.70p, and once again the South East had the most expensive diesel in the UK, closing July at 116.58p a litre.
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