The price of a litre of petrol in the UK fell by more than 5p in November, the biggest monthly drop since January 2015.
Retailers have finally reacted to falling wholesale costs; a barrel of crude oil now costs $57, down from $75 a barrel at the end of October.
Data from the RAC shows that price of a litre of unleaded petrol fell from 130.61p a month ago to 125.43p, a drop of 5.18p a litre. Diesel dropped from 136.93p per litre to 134.42p over the same time period, a fall of 2.5p. This means that the cost of filling a 55 litre car with unleaded is now £68.98, £2.85 less than it was at the end of October. To fill up the same sized tank with diesel would cost £73.19, a saving of £1.38 compared to last month.
However, retailers are still taking record margins on unleaded petrol. If the falling wholesale costs were fairly passed on to consumers, the price of petrol should fall by a further 7p, according to RAC.
“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,” said Simon Williams, a spokesperson for RAC.
“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.
“Based on our data, petrol still ought to come down by 7p a litre in the next two weeks and diesel by 5p. While this seems unlikely based on retailers’ current track record, 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.”
“In the last six years we haven’t seen retailers take this much margin from selling a litre of petrol over such a protracted length of time. Wholesale unleaded began falling from mid-October but retailers were reluctant to reflect this on the forecourt despite the RAC highlighting the issue on numerous occasions.”
Motorway services have been even slower to react to the fall in wholesale prices. The average price for unleaded on the motorway is 145.40p a litre, while a litre of diesel is 153.70p. In fact, on November 20th the price of diesel reached 155.40p a litre at motorway services, matching the record set in April 2012 when fuel prices throughout the UK hit a peak.
Regionally, Scotland has seen the biggest drop in petrol prices during November. The price of a litre north of the border fell 5.61p, above the UK average of 5.18p. The most expensive place in the UK to buy petrol is the East of England, with the price of a litre at 126.29p. This is 2.37p more expensive than a litre of petrol in the North East