Petrol prices pump higher in April

Filling up a car

The average price of petrol rose by 5.4p to 128.06p per litre in April, according to the RAC. Apparently, that’s the second-biggest monthly increase since the year 2000.

That seems a shockingly big rise, although I have to admit that prices in my local town haven’t risen by this much. Of course, the reason for this may be that they didn’t fall as low as in some more populated areas of the country.

Whatever. The unfortunate reality is fuel retailers have jumped to pass on a 5% rise in the price of a barrel of oil. Rocket and feather, here we come…

There wasn’t much mercy for diesel drivers, either. The average price per litre for oil burners rose by 3p to 133.7p.

Supermarkets weren’t much help either. Although these big retailers have traditionally competed hard to offer the lowest fuel prices, RAC figures show that supermarket petrol prices rose above the UK average in April.

The average price of a litre of supermarket unleaded jumped 5.6p to 124.2 in April. Diesel burned 4.1p higher to 131.6p. It seems that these big fuel sellers are no longer keen to push prices down. I guess it helps their profit margins.

Motorway petrol remains an utter rip-off, to be avoided at all costs. The average price of a litre of unleaded on a blue road rose by 3.6p to 145.5, while diesel motored 2.8p ahead to 154.1p. Ouch.

Will prices fall in May?

Is there any hope for lower petrol and diesel prices in May? Perhaps.

RAC Fuel Watch analysis suggests that petrol prices are likely to stay flat over the next couple of weeks.

However, diesel prices are “very likely to come down “ according to the motoring organisation.

A lot depends on the price of oil. A big move in the exchange rate between the pound and the US dollar could also affect prices. Unfortunately, there’s little that motorists can do about it. We can’t buy fuel in advance and stock up when it’s cheaper. And we can’t delay buying it when we need it.

The only answer is to find the cheapest fuel and use as little as possible by driving efficiently. Plus — avoid short journeys. Cold engines tend to burn through a lot of extra fuel. If it’s under a mile, walk!

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