Petrol back to pre-pandemic prices and more increases on the cards
The price of petrol is now at its highest price since January 2020 following six months of rises, and further increases are looking likely.
New RAC Fuel Watch figures reveal that unleaded ended April at an average of 127.19p per litre, following a 0.89p rise last month.
The price of diesel has also risen for five months straight – it went up by 0.62p last month to 129.73p per litre.
But the RAC is also warning of the likelihood of even higher pump prices for drivers in May, after the cost of a barrel of oil rose by nearly $5 ($4.82) during April.
And there are increased signs of a possible recovery in demand for oil by the summer, which is already starting to push the oil price close to the $70 level – a price last seen in May 2019 and one that will inevitably spell more bad news for drivers at the pumps.
If the oil-producing nations decide to continue to restrict oil production at their next meeting, scheduled for 1 June 2021, this could push the oil price still higher. And while one saving grace at the moment however is the relative strength of the pound compared to the US dollar on world currency exchange markets, there are a number of different factors that could inflate fuel prices.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams added: “Progress in the global battle against the coronavirus will be critical in determining where fuel prices go from here. The success of domestic vaccination schemes could lead to greater demand for fuel and in turn rising prices due to global supply restrictions. Ongoing travel restrictions in other countries around the world may also prolong oil output restrictions and force fuel prices in the UK higher still.”
The RAC also warned that drivers of diesel vehicles are being particularly hard done by when it comes to current pump prices; while the wholesale price of the fuel is virtually the same as unleaded, and has been since the beginning of March, diesel pump prices are on average 2.5p higher per litre.
The RAC data also shows the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets remain cheaper for fuel – they’re currently charging 4.5p less per litre of unleaded than the UK average (122.67p), and 4.19p less per litre of diesel (125.54p).