Petrol prices in the UK rose at their fastest rate on record in June, despite the wholesale cost of fuel dropping by 10p per litre over the course of the month.
Fuel stations are now charging on average 16.59p more per litre for petrol than they did at the end of May, with a litre priced at 191.43p, up from 174.84p; while the price of diesel has risen by 15.62p, from 183.43p to 199.05p per litre.
This means the cost to fill up a 55-litre family car, such as an Audi A3 or a BMW 3 Series, with petrol is £105.29. This has shot up by £9.12 in a month – the equivalent of 30p every day.
For diesel owners, filling up the same sized tank costs £109.48, which is £8.59 more than at the start of the month.
At the start of this year, petrol cost 145.55p and diesel 148.75p.
Yet the AA says the wholesale cost of petrol started falling after the Jubilee weekend (2-5 June), when prices hit $128.85 (£107.87) per 160-litre barrel.
Since then, it has been down at least 5p a litre for more than a fortnight, having ended last week 10p down on the record highs of early June.
As reported, rising wholesale costs had been caused by a combination of increased demand for oil and concerns over supply because of the war in Ukraine.
“It’s an outrage, plain and simple, that the fuel trade could be slashing petrol prices as the nation heads towards the holiday season but isn’t,” said Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel-price spokesman.
The AA and the RAC have called on retailers to cut prices to reflect lower wholesale costs and again demanded that the government slash fuel duty, which currently accounts for around 85p per litre.
Back in March, chancellor Rishi Sunak cut fuel duty by 5p per litre, but the RAC has now said that more needs to be done, with the average price of unleaded now 26.84p per litre higher than the day after March’s fuel duty cut was announced (164.59p). This, it added, makes the cost of a full tank £14.77 more expensive. The average cost of a litre of diesel is 20.92p more.
“The rate at which pump prices have been rising over the last four weeks is hard to comprehend,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.
“Not a day in June went by when petrol prices didn’t go up, even though the price retailers pay to buy in fuel went down. There’s no doubt that drivers are getting an incredibly raw deal at the pumps at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is being felt ever more acutely.