Tuesday 4 August 2020 12:01 am

Fuel prices rise for second consecutive month as oil price steadies

The average price of petrol and diesel rose for the second consecutive month in July, adding nearly £2 to a fill up, according to RAC Fuel Watch data.

The second consecutive month of price rises means unleaded is now 7p a litre more expensive than it was at the end of May, while diesel is 6p dearer.

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Unleaded rose 3.21p a litre from 111.06p to 114.27p, which sent the cost of a 55-litre tank to £62.85 – an increase of £1.77. 

Diesel went up by a similar amount – 2.95p a litre – from 115.09p to 118.04p, making a complete fill-up £1.62p more expensive at £64.92.

After months of turmoil earlier this year, global oil prices were largely stable throughout July, closing out the month at $42.95.

However, across the month the wholesale price of petrol fell 2p across the month to 84.66p a litre, signalling that retailers should be reducing their pump prices slightly in the next week or two. 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said that further respite might be on the way for drivers with oil producers around the world planning on increasing production in the coming months.

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“The higher prices at the pump have been driven by the cost of oil increasing steadily to around $42 a barrel from a low of $13.21 in April”, he said. 

“But drivers may well be given some respite as oil producers are planning on ramping up production despite the risk of renewed lockdowns around the world. 

“This could easily lead to supply outstripping demand and therefore a reduction on the forecourts of the UK”.

Asda offered the cheapest supermarket unleaded by the end of July at 108.63p (up 2p) with the others all averaging just over 109p a litre. 

It also had the lowest price diesel at 112.68p ahead of Sainsbury’s on 113.39p – Morrisons and Tesco were both at 114p. 

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance, at comparethemarket.com, said that the rise in prices could “eradicate” any savings motorists had made on insurance premiums over the last few months.

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“While premiums have fallen significantly during lockdown – over £50 in the last quarter – the increase in fuel prices seen today could well eradicate those savings. 

“The cost of fuel has been fluctuating a lot this year and indications are that we may see a reduction in costs in the months ahead. But this will do little for those that are already struggling with the cost of running a car, whether that’s affording their car insurance payments or covering the cost of petrol”, he finished.