UK petrol and diesel prices are back to pre-lockdown levels

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UK petrol and diesel prices are back to pre-lockdown levels

Price at the pumps increases

Price of petrol and diesel shot back up to pre-covid levels during the month of May. Drivers should expect to pay 129p-per-litre of petrol and 132p-per-litre of diesel. 

For the average family who may have a small petrol hatchback like a Ford Focus with a 55-litre tank, this may mean they will now fork out £71.10 for petrol and £72.37 for diesel cars just to fill up the tank. This is an £8 hike since November.

The average price of petrol and diesel plunged to 106p and 111p-per-litre respectively in May 2020, as millions of UK drivers were told to "stay at home" during the lockdowns. Some of multiple supermarket chains cut their prices even further, selling unleaded at just £1-per-litre.

For a certainty, lack of vehicle use due to the global lockdowns contributed massively to the collapse in global oil prices, with the price of crude oil plummeting to $13.21 a barrel last spring.  The price of a barrel of oil is now selling at $69.58. 

UK fuel prices are back to pre-lockdown levels

If you buy your fuel at one of the four major supermarket chains, you may have a saving of 4p-per-litre (petrol 124.83p and diesel 127.36p). On the other end of the spectrum, if you fill up at a motorway services filling station, you may very well have to spend 146.78p for a litre of petrol and 149.59p for a litre of diesel. Speaking on fuel prices in the UK, a spokesman for the RAC, Simon Williams said:

"As always, the future of fuel prices is hard to predict more than a few weeks in advance and even more so now as the pandemic appears to have altered the dynamics of fuel retailing, with the supermarkets having an even greater stranglehold on the market.

"Looking at the wholesale price of both fuels, in normal circumstances unleaded definitely shouldn’t be continuing to rise with the numbers actually pointing to the potential for a 2p reduction. And diesel is currently 4p too expensive which suggests retailers are using the saving in the wholesale price to help make up for lower fuel sales over the last year.

"We urge retailers not to take advantage of drivers and fairly reflect what’s happening with wholesale prices on the country’s forecourts."

UK petrol and diesel prices


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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