31 January 2011
The average UK price of diesel hit a new record on thursday 27 January, reaching 133.26p/litre. The previous record was 133.25p/litre in July 2008.
Average petrol pump prices also hit a record yesterday, rising to 128.62p/litre.
However, a drop in wholesale petrol costs should be starting to filter through to forecourts.
However, the 4.6p difference between the cost of petrol and diesel is considerably better than the 13.6 differential in July 2008 – better news for car owners who have switched from petrol to diesel.
The new all-time high for diesel means that drivers are paying 19.21p/litre more than a year ago (114.05p), adding £9.61 to the cost of a typical 50-litre refill. With petrol also at a record high, it is now costing on average 16.39p a litre more than a year ago (112.23p), adding £8.20 to the cost of a tankful.
Since late December, wholesale petrol has fallen from $850 a tonne to around $820 in recent days. With the dollar/pound exchange rate strengthening from $1.54 to $1.59 in the same period, the litre wholesale price has fallen from around 41p a litre to 39p.
"Average petrol prices wobbled earlier this week, dipping for the first time since the first week of September before continuing to go up. We understand that prices remain volatile, but hope that retailers will pass on savings when they can," says Edmund King, the AA's president.
"Record pump prices are further evidence that the Chancellor must act to at least freeze duty and consider a price stabiliser."