The average price of petrol fell slightly in February, marking eight consecutive months of falls, RAC Fuel Watch data reveals.
Motorists have now enjoyed eight months of falling unleaded prices from the beginning of July 2015 when the average price of a litre was 117p a litre. At the end of February, the average price of petrol at forecourts was 101.93p – a drop of 15p and a saving of £8.25 on filling up an average 55-litre family car.
February saw a small fall of 0.16p in the price of unleaded at the pumps. The wholesale price of petrol also finished the month 2p a litre cheaper than at the start due to increased petrol production, which should help to keep pump prices at their current level in the short term, or possibly even reduce them very slightly in March.
The RAC Fuel Watch February report also shows that the price of diesel at the pumps remains largely static, rising from 101.11p to 101.18p, despite a 2.5p rise in its wholesale price.
While this is a turnaround from January which saw a 5p reduction, the average price of diesel is still nearly a penny cheaper than that of petrol (diesel – 101.18p v petrol 101.93p). The average forecourt price of diesel has been lower than petrol since 25 January 2016 but is likely to switch back again in March.
Average supermarket prices of both petrol and diesel hardly changed in February: petrol started the month at 99.88p and finished at 99.86p whereas diesel rose marginally: 97.96p to 98.24p.
Both the oil price and the exchange rate – the two factors which have the greatest effect on fuel prices aside from tax – were the subject of much attention in February.
The pound lost ground against the dollar throughout the month, falling from $1.44 on 1 February to $1.39 by the end, while oil underwent a late price surge to finish at $35.80 having started the month at $32.75.
Editor’s note: This corrects an earlier RAC Fuel Watch story which wrongly stated fuel prices were rising