June Fuel Price Report

Record rise for diesel despite 10% wholesale fall

18 June 2008

Average UK prices for diesel rose by a record amount, beating last month's record increase. The price of petrol at UK pumps also rose by its highest-ever margin, the AA's Fuel Price Report for June reveals.

Between mid May and mid June, the price of diesel rose 7.39 pence per litre to 131.56 pence per litre, overtaking last month's rise of 6.76 pence. This is despite a temporary drop of up to 10 per cent in wholesale diesel prices at the end of May that gave the UK virtually no respite.

Petrol prices soared 5.61 pence per litre in the same period, reaching 118.16 pence per litre and beating the previous highest monthly rise of 4.6 pence in March-April 2006.

Despite four days of strike action by tanker drivers, the areas worst hit by fuel shortages have failed to show significant differences in price compared to less affected parts of the UK.

London and the South East remain the most expensive areas to buy petrol despite the shortages in the South West over the weekend. However, a litre of diesel was most expensive in Scotland and the South West.

AA Comment

"The tanker dispute has hidden the real threat to UK drivers – the accelerating pace of fuel price rises. Regional figures show that, although drivers in strike-affected regions may have had difficulties finding fuel, on average they weren't ripped off for it. This is despite some high-profile examples of over-pricing," says Edmund King, the AA's president.

"Indeed, it begs the question why London and the South East, with its heavy concentration of population and fuel stations, and considerably less affected by the tanker dispute than western areas, continues to charge the most for petrol."

He adds: "These record fuel prices are affecting the mobility and livelihoods of many motorists. Individual motorists and fleet drivers are cutting back on their journeys and following economical driving tips but are still stung by record prices at the pumps.

"The Chancellor should abandon any prospect of the 2p per litre increase and consider what other measures could be taken to help those low-income motorists and people dependent on the car. A fuel regulator should be set up to ensure that the consumer gets a better deal. Motorists did not panic at the pumps over the fuel shortages but there are now signs of panic and pain over the prices."

AA Fuel Price Report for June »

AA Public Affairs - the voice of UK Motorists


18 June 2008