August saw yet another rise in the price of both petrol and diesel meaning that prices have gone up for eight of the last 12 months making both fuels 13p more expensive than this time last year, new RAC Fuel Watch data reveals.
Pump prices continue to creep ever upward with unleaded increasing by 1.65p to 130.59p and diesel by 1.32p to 132.19p in the month. A year ago, however, petrol was 117.51p and diesel was 118.37p.
Sadly, the combination of a weaker pound and an oil price of over $70 a barrel has sent prices shooting up. In the past year only the months of June, February and October have given drivers a little respite at the petrol pumps. And it was worse for diesel drivers with nine months of increases.
The average price of petrol in the UK is now at its highest since the end of July 2014 just before the price of a barrel of oil began to freefall and diesel is at its most expensive since the beginning of October the same year. The very important costly difference for every driver, however, is that back then oil was $106 a barrel and the pound was worth $1.70.
Now, in stark contrast, oil finished August at $77.54 while sterling was only worth $1.29 which means both petrol and diesel are far more expensive for retailers to buy on the wholesale market. So despite the lower oil price, the substantially weakened pound has caused fuel prices to reach their highest levels for the last four years.
There have been no significant reductions in the average cost of supermarket fuel since 24 June, meaning by the end of August prices had crept up by 3.38p for petrol (123.77p to 127.15p) and by 3.12p for diesel (127.23p to 130.35p).
The cost of filling a 55-litre family car with unleaded is £71.82 – an increase of 91p on July and £7.32 dearer than a year ago. For diesel, the equivalent cost is £73.29 for a tank today – 73p more than last month and £8.19 more expensive than at the end of August 2017.