Welsh motorists are getting some of the best deals at petrol pumps, according to RAC Fuel Watch.
The average prices of petrol & diesel have increased for the fourth month running, according to RAC Fuel Watch data for June, but wholesale fuel prices have only risen very slightly as a result of the pound weakening after the UK voted to leave the EU.
In Wales the rise in petrol was 1.31 a litre, higher only than the West Midlands and Scotland, and diesel drivers saw pump prices go up 1.59 a litre in Wales, the fourth lowest increase in the UK as well.
Unleaded went up 1.5p a litre (110.69p to 112.17p) and diesel by 1.66p (110.73p to 112.39p) in a month which saw oil rise from $48 to an early high of $50.73 and then fall to a mid-month low of $45.95 before finishing June on $48 again, coupled, of course, with the pound hitting a 31-year low against the dollar.
The impact of the 11% post-referendum fall in the value of the pound was softened by a simultaneous 6% drop in the oil price, meaning wholesale prices were largely unaffected. The pound ended the month 7% weaker – $1.43 to $1.34.
The forecourt price rise, which has seen unleaded go up more than 10p a litre from 101.91p at the start of March to 112.17p at the end of June, means the cost of filling an average petrol family car has increased by £5.64 to £61.69 in four months. The June pump price rise added 81p (£60.88 to £61.69) to the cost of a tank of petrol and 91p (£60.90 to £61.81) to a complete diesel fill-up. Diesel is now nearly 11p more expensive than at the beginning of March (101.56p to 112.39p), making a tank £5.96 dearer.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said, “June was another bad month for motorists with the price of petrol going up again.
“While it was only a penny and a half it makes for a rise of more than 10p since the start of March. Filling up with unleaded is now £5.64 more expensive which is enough to make an unpleasant dent in household budgets up and down the country, especially for those who have more than one car or need to fill up regularly.
“But it is good news that fuel prices are so far weathering the Brexit storm; wholesale prices have remained relatively stable after an initial small upward jolt as a result of the pound falling on news of the referendum result.
“The fact the oil price dropped at the same time lessened the negative effect of the pound’s devaluation. We may well see pump prices rise slightly in July, but current indications are that this is unlikely to be the shock rise some were predicting.
“The lower cost of a barrel of oil plays the greatest part in keeping forecourt prices down. It’s also worth remembering that compared to a year ago we are still paying around 5p less for petrol and nearly 8.5p less for diesel.
“While economists are saying the pound is unlikely to recover the ground it lost against the dollar so dramatically the day after the referendum, the oil price looks likely to stay around the $50 mark for some time due to OPEC’s continued over production strategy. There is also a hope that prices might even fall once various issues that have hindered production around the world are resolved.”
UK fuel price variation
Across the UK, the South West and East Anglia saw the largest rises in average petrol prices at 1.7p a litre, while Scotland underwent the biggest diesel price increase at 1.76p.
Scotland’s fortunes with unleaded though were far better, undergoing the smallest increase in the UK at just 1.23p a litre. The East Midlands saw the smallest diesel increase at 1.48p.
Northern Ireland was still the cheapest place to buy both petrol and diesel in the UK with petrol at 110.99p and diesel at 110.64p. And, the South East kept its title of being the most expensive place to buy fuel with unleaded at an average of 112.70p and diesel at 113.05p.