October Fuel Price Report

Diesel price hits new record

18 October 2007

The average price of UK diesel has hit a record high of 99.95 pence per litre and looks set to continue rising, according to the latest mid-month AA Fuel Price Report.

This new price has overtaken the peak reached on 1 August 2006 when diesel reached 99.72 pence per litre. Petrol, which recorded its highest-ever price of 98.54 pence per litre on the same day in 2006, is less than a penny off, averaging 97.76 pence per litre on Wednesday. This is up 2.5 pence compared to mid-September.

Prices from Monday show that competitive supermarket pricing is helping to restrain petrol prices, despite the two pence increase in fuel duty on Monday 1 October.

There is nearly four pence difference between the average prices of the cheapest and the most expensive UK fuel retailers.

The four main supermarkets are charging on average 95.81 pence per litre for petrol, compared to 97.95 for the non-supermarket sector – a difference of 2.14 pence.

Regional price variations are showing a North-South divide, reaching its extreme with petrol in Scotland averaging 96.5 pence per litre. This is almost two pence less than the 98.2-pence-per-litre average in London and East Anglia.

"Diesel prices have been growing faster than petrol due to impending seasonal demand for heating oil in the US. Compared to the summer when both fuels reached parity on price, diesel is now 2.2 pence dearer than petrol," says Paul Watters, head of AA Public Affairs.

"Rollercoaster oil prices, with this week's new records set to extend the pain further, are placing ever greater pressure on fuel producers and retailers to pass on the extra cost to drivers. Even now, petrol is 11.13 pence per litre more expensive than the same time last year. Not only is this costing drivers an extra £5.56 to fill the typical 50-litre tank but, each day across the UK, £7.7 million more is being spent on petrol than at the same time last year1 – sapping other consumer spending. This autumn is looking likely to be a miserable one for all, with future oil prices still highly volatile."

Notes to editors

1 The UK consumes 68,776,000 litres of petrol per day.


18 October 2007