According to the RAC, in November 2018 petrol prices took their greatest monthly decrease in price since January 2015, as they fell by more than 5p per litre. This also marks the first major price reduction since June, as retailers finally align with reduced wholesale prices.
The petrol price drop in November was 24%, as the RAC reported the price had fallen to 57$ a barrel. Meanwhile, the price of motorway diesel has risen to match its record of April 2012 at 155.40 pence per litre (ppl). By the end of November, petrol returned to the price it was mid-May, however diesel matched its September cost.
The data gathered by the RAC shows that unleaded petrol fell by 5.18p to 125.43ppl and diesel prices decreased by 2.5p to 134.42ppl in November 2018.
A fuel spokesperson for RAC, Simon Williams, commented on the outcome for motorists: “The oil price plummeted by 24% throughout November which proved to be positive for motorists – indeed we haven’t seen such a large drop in average prices in nearly four years.”
Although this news is positive at the pumps, according to the RAC’s analysis of wholesale fuel prices drivers have been overcharged b 10ppl for unleaded and 7ppl for diesel. Plus, average prices stand to fall considerably further over the coming December weeks if retailers choose to reflect the wholesale price drop. Williams claimed that even though wholesale unleaded began decreasing from mid-October, and despite the RAC highlighting the issue frequently, retailers were reluctant to reflect this on the forecourt.
Williams added “Having finished October at $75, a barrel of crude ended the month only costing $57 which sent wholesale prices tumbling even though the value of sterling dropped by 2%.
“This should have translated to the average price of petrol being around 120p a litre, but retailers chose not to pass on the savings meaning the current average still remains unnecessarily high at 125.43p.”
He added that where one of the big four supermarkets consistently cut the price of unleaded fuel, the remaining three haven’t by as much “which has meant the UK average price didn’t drop as much as it should have done.” On November 29 the average price at the big four stood at 121.27ppl for petrol and 130.96ppl for diesel.
Based on the data from the RAC, mid-December could still see petrol prices fall by as much as 7p per week and diesel prices by 5p. Williams believes this to be ”unlikely based on retailers’ current track record,” but adds “we can only hope they are planning some cuts in the run-up to Christmas with a view to getting more shoppers into their stores.”
Even slower than supermarkets, motorway services were charging 145.50p for unleaded and 153.50p for diesel on average.
The RAC data revealed that, based on location, Scotland saw the largest reduction in the price of petrol throughout November beating the UK average fall of 5.18p with a 5.61p reduction.
At both the beginning and end of the month the North East had the cheapest unleaded with 123.92p recorded on 29 November. The East of England proved the most expensive place for fuel (a title previously held by the South East) with a litre costing 2.37p more than in the North East, at 126.29p at the end of November.
Northern Ireland saw the greatest drop in the price of diesel and became the cheapest place in the UK to buy the fuel at 132.60p at the end of November. The South East was the dearest for diesel at an average of 135.17p a litre.