UK petrol and diesel costs: oil value softens however gas hits £2 per litre

High fuel prices. £2 per litre

Mike Rutherford

On account of rising petrol costs, UK motorists are actually being compelled to pay a median of £1.63 a litre for unleaded. As a result of similar strain on diesel costs, UK drivers should pay much more, with newest RAC figures reporting a median price of £1.73 a litre. Nevertheless many motorists are already paying considerably larger prices per litre than these averages, with stories of diesel reaching a staggering £2.07 a litre, and premium grade petrol costs additionally breaking the £2 a litre barrier on some forecourts.

Information of strikes to both boycott Russian power, or scale back reliance on it following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine, pushed the value of oil to almost $140 {dollars} a barrel final week. The worth had settled again to round $120 {dollars} by the top of the week, and oil is now buying and selling at lower than $110 {dollars} a barrel. So regardless of current conflicting stories as as to whether the OPEC group of oil producing nations are ready to extend manufacturing to cowl any potential shortfalls, the preliminary market panic does appear to have settled for now.

RAC gas spokesman Simon Williams stated: “The common value of petrol seems to be on a collision course with £1.65 a litre having reached a brand new report of 163.46 p on Sunday, up by 2.5p from Thursday. Diesel hit one other report excessive on Saturday at 173.67p, up 3.5p from two days earlier.

“Whereas there’ll virtually actually be extra rises this week, drivers ought to quickly get some respite from pump costs leaping by a number of pence a litre day-after-day as oil and wholesale costs seem to have settled. The worth hikes seen over the weekend are nonetheless a results of the oil value rise which started at the beginning of the month and peaked early final week at $137 a barrel.

“Because the oil value has now fallen again, we should always hopefully attain the height and begin to see costs going the opposite strategy to mirror the large drop in wholesale prices seen on the finish of final week, topic to no additional spikes within the barrel value this week.”

Why are diesel and petrol so costly?

Russia is without doubt one of the world’s largest producers of oil and fuel, so any disruptions to its manufacturing processes has a world impression.

With Russia having launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and dealing with worldwide sanctions, there’s potential for vital disruption to provides. Russia produces 4.5 million barrels of oil every day, and solely Saudi Arabia produces extra. 

The sanctions levied towards Russia to this point have focused banks and oligarchs slightly than the nation’s power sector, however components comparable to Germany’s postponement of the Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline will affect the power market total. Russia additionally has the power to scale back oil exports to Europe in a tit-for-tat response to financial sanctions, and consultants recommend Saudi Arabian oil fields might wrestle to extend manufacturing sufficiently to counter such measures.

“Opec, the oil producers’ cartel, is already struggling to fulfill its output targets as demand for crude rebounds following the easing of lockdown restrictions. This has pushed up costs, with analysts warning there’s restricted capability to extend provides if flows from Russia are affected by sanctions,” the Monetary Instances newspaper has reported.

fuel pump

What makes up the value of UK gas?

The worth of gas will be divided into three sections; the taxes imposed by the Authorities, the prices of drilling, refining and transporting, and the revenue margins for the gas firms.

For petrol, diesel and bioethanols, the Authorities will get round 65 per cent of the general price by way of gas obligation and worth added tax (VAT). The gas obligation represents the mounted value of gas – it stays the identical regardless how a lot total oil costs fluctuate. At the moment, the Treasury provides 57.95 pence to every litre of gas by way of gas obligation, and one other 20 per cent by way of VAT. How a lot you pay in VAT relies on how a lot gas you buy.

The second largest chunk comes from the wholesale prices of the gas itself. The wholesale price is a mixture of forex change charges, world oil costs, and even home provide and demand.

When will gas costs go down?

Consultants predict excessive gas prices will likely be with us for the foreseeable future, and it’s not simply all the way down to the disaster in Ukraine – power prices have been excessive for the very best a part of a yr already as demand surged because the world emerged from lockdown.

A part of the issue is all the way down to the truth that comparatively low barrel costs in recent times have put plans to drill for brand spanking new reserves on maintain. That’s true in Africa, the US and South America, and whereas the present excessive costs could improve curiosity in exploring new reserves, it might probably take years for brand spanking new wells to come back on stream in volumes required to have an effect on the market.

Why is grocery store gas cheaper than an unbiased forecourt?

Grocery store forecourts normally provide the most cost effective gas costs and that is due to the market energy supermarkets maintain. Corporations like Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are all in competitors with each other, so that they maintain gas costs as little as potential hoping that when motorists come to fill their tank, they may do their weekly grocery buying, too. 

There are persistent rumours that grocery store gas incorporates fewer components and is of lesser high quality than gas from conventional forecourts, however there’s little arduous proof of this. All gas bought within the UK has to abide by the requirements set within the Motor Gas Regulation. 

petrol prices

Why is gas so costly on motorways?

Motorway gas stations argue the explanation their costs are larger is that lots of them are open 24 hours a day and provide extra companies than an everyday forecourt. Motorway gas stations additionally pay excessive lease costs for the buildings they function.

In additional distant areas, gas is usually dearer due to the upper transport and provide prices, however in keeping with RAC gas spokesman Simon Williams, this doesn’t apply to motorway stations: “We will see no purpose why motorway gas must be a lot dearer. In reality, arguably it’s a lot simpler from a supply viewpoint than it’s getting gas to city filling stations.”

Why is diesel dearer than petrol?

Though diesel and petrol are taxed the identical by the Treasury, traditionally diesel has been dearer than petrol, as home refineries have struggled to fulfill demand. This has compelled the UK to import diesel from different international locations at a higher price than petrol. As well as, diesel costs are pushed up by the price of the components that go into the gas.

Moreover, the hole between UK petrol and diesel costs widens throughout the winter. The top of the US “driving season” means retailers have a surplus of petrol they will’t export, so that they promote it right here at a lower cost. Diesel demand, in the meantime, will increase throughout continental Europe, the place the gas is usually utilized in heating oil.

Just lately, the inflow of low-cost diesel from international locations like Saudi Arabia has turned the tide, swinging diesel wholesale costs nearer to that of petrol, and bringing the pump value down with it. Nevertheless the truth that we get a better proportion of diesel from Russia than petrol means the benefit has swung the opposite method once more.

What’s your view on gas costs within the UK? Can we pay an excessive amount of for our petrol and diesel? What would you do about it? Be part of the controversy in our feedback part under…

Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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