Petrol prices fall for fourth month in a row but should still be 4p a litre cheaper

4 December 2019

Retailers are failing to pass on wholesale price cuts to motorists, the RAC says


Petrol prices fell for the fourth month in a row in November, despite retailers not passing on wholesale price cuts to customers.

A litre of unleaded fell 0.48p to 125.93p in November, according to RAC data.

Diesel has fallen for three out of the last four months, after it increased slightly in September when petrol fell. A litre of diesel is now 129.83p, down from 130.27p at the start of the month.

Since the beginning of August, the average price of petrol across all UK forecourts has dropped by 3.31p a litre. The diesel reduction was a penny less at 2.21p, falling from 132.04p.

This means the cost of filling a 55-litre family car with unleaded is now £1.82 a tank cheaper than early August, while diesel is £1.21 less.

Due to savings in the wholesale price of fuel, Asda led a round of supermarket fuel cuts in late November, followed by Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

The average price supermarket price of unleaded at the end of November was 121.20p, down 1.74p in the month, and diesel is 125.15p, down 1.41p. Both fuels at supermarkets are now 4.7p a litre cheaper than the UK average.

However, the RAC says that other retailers are failing to pass price cuts on.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says: “Despite this knocking off about a penny and half from the average price of fuel charged at the four big supermarkets, the UK average only reduced very slightly.

“This implies that other retailers haven’t followed the supermarkets lead and are not passing on savings in the wholesale price. This is bad news for drivers as it means they are losing out every time they fill up.

“Normally, the supermarkets are about 3p a litre cheaper than other retailers so seeing this go out to 4.7p is definitely a sign something’s different.”

“Looking at the wholesale price of both petrol and diesel retailers of all sizes should be cutting at the pump. As it stands, unleaded should come down by 5p a litre and diesel by 4p.”

How to cut down on your fuel costs

One way of cutting down on your fuel costs is by finding the cheapest prices.

To save wasting fuel hunting down the cheapest forecourts you can enter your postcode at on or Make sure your journey to the garage does not cancel out the savings made though.

Making your car more fuel-efficient can also help you cut down on your petrol bills.

Regular maintenance and servicing can significantly help improve fuel efficiency.

A poorly-tuned engine can reduce fuel economy by 10% or more, so it is a good idea to get your car regular serviced.

Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption, so make sure they are pumped up properly.

Excess weight can also hurt fuel economy, so remove anything that is not essential, such as roof racks.

Regional fuel prices

Those living in the North West saw the largest monthly price fall in the UK for unleaded of 1.29p, taking a litre to 125.56p. The smallest fall was in London, with prices  dropping 0.30p.

The most expensive unleaded was in London at 126.98p, followed closely by the South East at 126.94p.

Unleaded 30/10/2019 28/11/2019 Change
UK average 126.41 125.93 -0.48
North West 126.85 125.56 -1.29
Wales 125.92 124.71 -1.21
Scotland 126.6 125.4 -1.2
North East 125.62 124.53 -1.09
South West 126.82 125.77 -1.05
East Midlands 127.01 125.98 -1.03
Yorkshire And The Humber 126.45 125.46 -0.99
Northern Ireland 124.72 123.91 -0.81
West Midlands 126.72 126.03 -0.69
South East 127.59 126.94 -0.65
East 126.94 126.37 -0.57
London 127.28 126.98 -0.3

Source: RAC 2019

The East Midlands recorded the biggest drop in the price of diesel, with a litre falling 1.01p.

The most expensive diesel was in the South East, while the cheapest was in Northern Ireland at 127.51p

Diesel 30/10/2019 28/11/2019 Change
UK average 130.27 129.83 -0.44
East Midlands 130.97 129.96 -1.01
Scotland 130.84 129.89 -0.95
North East 129.54 128.6 -0.94
Wales 129.98 129.09 -0.89
South West 130.87 130.02 -0.85
North West 130.15 129.31 -0.84
Yorkshire And The Humber 130.22 129.38 -0.84
Northern Ireland 128.3 127.51 -0.79
West Midlands 130.5 129.9 -0.6
East 131.02 130.5 -0.52
South East 131.57 131.08 -0.49
London 130.82 130.52 -0.3

Source: RAC 2019


Price of fuel still high

Why am I not surprised? This is "business as usual" for the fuel retailers who pass on any increases in the cost of a barrel of oil within hours of it being announced, but take months to pass on any savings when the price of oil goes down. Why is there no legislation to force them to stop ripping the motorist off in this way??

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