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Pump prices rise again but possible respite on way

Petrol and diesel pump prices shot up again in July as oil prices continued to recover, but drivers could see a fall in the coming weeks.

A rise in the average price of petrol and diesel for the second consecutive month has added nearly £2 to a fill-up

Unleaded rose 3.21p a litre from 111.06p to 114.27p, according to RAC Fuel Watch data. Diesel went up by a similar amount – 2.95p a litre – from 115.09p to 118.04p. At the big four supermarkets, the average price of a litre of petrol increased by nearly 3.5p (3.43p) to 109.14p and diesel by 3.33p to 113.52p.

It marks the second consecutive month of increases in pump prices after they rocketed in June.

The higher prices at the pump have been driven by the cost of oil increasing steadily to around $42 a barrel, up from a low of $13.21 in April. However, the price of oil was stable throughout July, finishing at $42.95 a barrel – very similar to the beginning of the month.

And with the wholesale price of petrol having fallen 2p across the month to 84.66p a litre, this signals that retailers should be reducing their pump prices slightly in the next week or two. Diesel also came down but only very slightly (0.22p) to 87.39p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams added: “Drivers may well be given some respite as oil producers are planning on ramping up production despite the risk of renewed lockdowns around the world. This could easily lead to supply outstripping demand and therefore a reduction on the forecourts of the UK.

“As it there is some scope for retailers to already be reducing their prices. If they play fair with drivers we ought to see 2p a litre come off the price of unleaded and nearer 4p come off diesel.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.