Why isn’t the record-high price of petrol reversing its course? Wholesale costs are still cheaper than usual, but retailers will be more likely to lower petrol prices.

  • According to the AA, wholesale prices fell by 5.6p/litre over the past week.
  • This should have translated to cuts at the pump saving drivers £2-£3 to fill up
  • However, retailers are yet to offer any reductions for motorists who face a fourth month with record fuel prices
  • RAC called for the Government’s investigation of ‘rocket’ and ‘feather’ fuel prices 

According to motoring organizations, retailers have not passed on lower fuel prices to motorists in desperate need. This is the fourth consecutive week of record-high fill-up costs.

The AA said there should have been a ‘substantial drop’ in pump prices in recent days following a 5.6p-a-litre fall in wholesale petrol and diesel in the last week, which could have translated to savings of up to £3 each time drivers fill up. 

The RAC charged major fuel retailers with ‘rocket pricing’. They claimed they have’resisted passing on savings to drivers and instead held off in the hope that the oil price would rise’.  

The UK and the US joined forces to release oil from their strategic reserves onto the markets, in order to relieve the price pressures on energy and fuel.  

Drivers should already have seen record fuel prices declining: Motoring groups have today accused big retailers of failing to pass on wholesale savings of more than 5p-a-litre

Drivers shouldn’t have to wait for record fuel prices. Today, motoring groups accuse big retailers of failing wholesale savings exceeding 5p a litre.

According to the AA, drivers ought already have witnessed pump prices falling. However, forecourt reductions’remain elusive’ so far and’show only a stalling in recent increases’.

After 10 consecutive weeks of pump increases, rising oil prices have caused drivers to experience a fourth week with skyrocketing petrol costs. 

Unleaded climbed above its previous record price of 142.48p in April 2012. It surpassed that mark on Sunday 24th October 2012, and has increased an average 5p per litre since. 

Diesel exceeded the old record of 147.94p set on Sunday 31 Oct nine years ago. 

This means that the average price of diesel and petrol has gone up by 34p per gallon in the last 12 months.

This has made it approximately £19 more expensive to fill a typical 55-litre family car compared to November 2020. 

Drivers are currently enduring a fourth week of record petrol prices after 10 weeks or consistently-rising prices driven by higher oil costs

After 10 weeks of rising prices, drivers are now experiencing a fourth week with record-breaking petrol prices.

Prices of petrol and diesel are both higher than the previous records set in April 2012. The new records were set last month and have continued rising since

Both petrol and diesel prices are higher than their April 2012 records. New records were created last month and continue rising. 

Experts claim that the prices of wholesale petrol or diesel have dropped below their 2012 record.

Petrol Diesel
1 November 144.17p 147.9p
2 November 144.48p 148.16p
3. November 144.93p 148.39p
4 November 145.06p 148.61p
6 November 145.38p 149.43p
7 November 145.45p 149.02p
8 November 145.39p 149.04p
9 November 145.72p 149.27p
10 November 145.94p 149.52p
11 November 146.14p 149.66p
13 November 146.36p 150.5p
14 November 146.53p 150.09p
15 November 146.6p 150.24p
16 November 146.88p 150.43p
17 November 147.05p 150.58p
18 November 147.27p 150.66p
20 November 147.52p 151.1p
21 November 147.72p 150.96p
22 November 147.45p 150.79p
23 November 147.64p 150.8p
Source: AA. All-time record highest price for petrol and diesel in bold

However, these cost savings has yet to be seen at the pumps.

According to average price data collated by the AA, Sunday (21 November) showed the highest average pump price for unleaded at 147.72p. 

On Monday it dropped to 147,45p but by Tuesday had risen again to 147.64p.

Diesel has shown a similar fluctuation in prices in the last few days after peaking at 151.10p on Saturday (20 November).   

Luke Bodset of the AA commented that current high petrol prices are caused by wholesale costs exceeding 54p a litre during the second week in November. 

They are now at 49p after a fortnight. 

‘Consumers and businesses cannot afford for retailers to hold back potential price cuts of £2 to £3 a tank. 

“Hanging onto the hope that costs recover will be a good idea and thus imply that keeping prices high is not an option when it comes to essential items of your weekly budget.

Fuel prices are expected to fall further than the 2012 record, as the Government granted permission to British oil companies Tuesday to withdraw up to 1.5million barrels (from their strategic reserves) to alleviate pressure from rising energy prices.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that it was part of a co-ordinated international move by major energy users, led by the United States – which is releasing 50 million barrels.

Despite that release, oil rose back to above $80-a barrel over the 24 hour period. The AA described this as a blow for drivers’ and ‘a relief for consumers’ looking for at minimum some relief from the inflation-threatening Christmas spending plans.  

Simon Williams, spokesperson at RAC for fuels, applauded the Government’s decision. However, he called on MPs and other interested parties to look into why they have not passed on any savings.

“This should give drivers some much-needed relief from rising pump prices,” Mr WIlliams stated. 

‘While this action is clearly needed because of what’s happening with global oil demand there are also issues at home with retailer margins which the Government would do well to investigate. 

“Last week, the wholesale fuel price dropped dramatically, but the largest retailers who dominate the market resisted passing this savings onto drivers. Instead, they waited in hope that the oil price would rise again. 

This is an example of “rocket-and feather” pricing. This also smacks of retailers taking advantage of the public’s general acceptance of rising energy prices.’

Already drivers plan to reduce Christmas spending 

According to the AA, drivers will need to cut back on Christmas spending to offset record-high fuel costs.

Surveys of 15,000 motorists over the past week showed that 43 percent of these drivers are now cutting back their vehicle use or spending. The lowest-income motorists saw a reduction of 59% and younger drivers, respectively.

Drivers aged between 18-34 are seeing 28% cut back on their other consumer spending. Half of those surveyed are cutting back on Christmas shopping, while more than 80 percent are eating less out.

The 8,361 working-age respondents (excluting 65+ year-olds) found that one in 10 are cutting back their weekly shopping. That number rose to 17 percent among those 25-34 years old. 



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