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Average cost of fuel shoots up in June

Fuel prices rocketed in June after three straight months of decline; the result of increasing demand as drivers returned to the roads.

The forecourt rises mean a 55-litre tank of petrol has gone up by £2 to £60.97 (from £58.91 at the start of June)

New RAC Fuel Watch data reveals a litre of unleaded increased by 3.74p last month, from 107.11p to 110.85p, while diesel rose by 2.89pm, from 112.07p to 114.96p.

The jump came after the price of oil strengthened by more than $6 from $35.48 to $41.87; in late April the global coronavirus travel restrictions led to the price crashing to $13.21 a barrel. This in turn caused the price of a litre of petrol to come down to an average low of 106.48p and diesel to 111.8p on 19 May.

While the previous fall in the price of petrol had been brought about by Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons all selling petrol for an average of £1 a litre from mid-May to the end of the month, the big four supermarkets appear to have now driven the price rises.

The most marked increases have been seen at Morrisons. It went from having the cheapest petrol and diesel at the start of June to the most expensive of the major supermarkets, putting up both fuels by 7p a litre with unleaded going from 99.7p to 106.7p and diesel from 104.7p to 111.49p. Asda also increased its petrol price steeply by adding 6.5p, pushing up a litre from 99.91p to 106.42p. This meant by the end of June Sainsbury’s had both the cheapest supermarket petrol and diesel at 104.42p and 109.01p respectively.

While the rising pump prices in June will have proved a shock to drivers, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams pointed out that both petrol and diesel are 17p a litre cheaper than they were at the end of January. That means a tank of fuel is on average £9 less than it was then.

He warned that fuel prices are expected to keep heading upwards though.

“Oil producer group OPEC and its allies are continuing to restrict output which has successfully driven up the barrel price and that can only mean one thing for drivers in the coming weeks – higher prices. This is confirmed by RAC Fuel Watch data which shows that petrol is likely to go up by 2p a litre in the next fortnight. Diesel, however, shouldn’t rise much at all unless retailers use the saving in its slightly lower wholesale price to subsidise petrol.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.