Petrol jumps to new eight-year high despite falling wholesale costs

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Petrol jumps to new eight-year high despite falling wholesale costs, AA's latest Fuel Price Report shows

AA's Fuel Price Report shows on Sunday, drivers paid on average 135.51p a litre The last time petrol was above 135.5p a litre was in late September 2013 Moving into this week, petrol slipped back to 135.26p on Tuesday

By Sadie Whitelocks For This Is Money

Published: 02:12 EDT, 17 September 2021 | Updated: 02:12 EDT, 17 September 2021

Petrol has jumped to a new eight-year high despite falling wholesale costs, new findings reveal. 

The latest AA Fuel Price Report shows that on Sunday, motorists paid on average 135.51p a litre. The last time petrol was above 135.5p a litre was in late September 2013.

Moving into this week, petrol slipped back to 135.26p on Tuesday and is little changed from a month ago. 

Petrol has jumped to a new eight-year high despite falling wholesale costs, new findings reveal

The petrol retailer/supplier margin has grown to its biggest since last November and when, before that, forecourts failed to pass on much of the saving from 2020's pump price crash at the start of the pandemic

However, the 45p-a-litre wholesale price that drove average petrol pump prices well above 135p a litre through August has dropped below 43.5p a litre so far through September.

That has seen the petrol retailer/supplier margin grow to its largest since last November and when, before that, forecourts failed to pass on much of the saving from 2020's pump price crash at the start of the pandemic.

Average diesel prices across the UK are very slightly up compared to a month ago, now at 136.80p a litre as opposed to 136.68p in mid August.

A review of petrol station brands and their prices has found a huge disparity in the cost of unleaded and diesel.

BP had the highest price on petrol for September at 137.62p per litre, while the most price-friendly retailer was Asda, offering gas at 131.42 per litre. 

Meanwhile for diesel, Esso advertised the highest rate at 138.86p per litre while the cheapest provider was Asda, with the price pegged at 132.88 per litre. 

BP had the highest price on petrol for September at 137.62p per litre, while the most price-friendly retailer was Asda, offering gas at 131.42 per litre

A review of petrol station brands and their prices has found a huge disparity in the cost of unleaded and diesel

A lone half-a-penny price cut by Asda stands out as the only acknowledgement among major retailers that the wholesale cost of diesel through July and August had been lower than petrol's. 

Diesel heading to the forecourts has now become more expensive than petrol, which the AA says tends to be a seasonal trend as summer motoring demand for petrol falls away and growing demand for winter heating oil influences diesel - both coming from the same part of a barrel of oil.

Commenting on the findings Luke Bosdet, the AA's fuel price spokesman, said: 'We now know that the switch to E10 petrol (10 per cent ethanol) on 1 September saw the wholesale price of petrol drop by more than 4p a litre overnight. 

'However, much of that saving was lost as Hurricane Ida's enduring impact on the southern USA's oil and fuel production sent the price of oil from around $66 a barrel in the third week of August to above $73 in September.

'All the same, that oil price increase hasn't wiped out all of the E10 petrol price saving. 

'Retailers are now paying 1.5p a litre less for petrol, although you wouldn't know it from what the majority continue to charge their customers.

'Worse still, E10's lower fuel efficiency and car traffic now back to 95 per cent of the pre-pandemic level means that petrol stations are selling more fuel. Sadly, once again, the AA has to report that drivers are paying through the nozzle for their petrol.'

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