Why petrol and diesel prices could soon hit 130p

Morrisons filling station, Wetherby
Image by Mtaylor848 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, http://bit.ly/2k3S3bX

Are you fed up with the rising cost of filling up your car? You can blame Donald Trump. The US President’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement could send petrol and diesel prices up by “at least 2p a litre in the next fortnight”, according to the RAC.

The motoring organisation’s Fuel Watch service is currently (9 May) showing an average UK petrol price of 124.68p and a diesel price of 127.47p. But these are likely to rise over the next couple of weeks, say the RAC.

Not just Trump

In fairness to Mr Trump, it’s not just the Iran nuclear deal that’s to blame. Even before this decision, oil prices were rising. The price of of Brent crude oil rose by 12% from $67 to $75 per barrel in April. And the pound is trading at a four-month low against the US dollar, which makes fuel more expensive as it’s priced in dollars.

These factors combined to push up the average price of a litre of unleaded by 2.74p to 123.2p in April. Diesel rose by 2.94p a litre to 126.02p, according to the RAC.

These were the biggest monthly price rises since December 2016 and mean that we’re now paying an average of 8p per litre more for fuel than in summer 2017.

What can I do?

Interestingly, even the supermarkets put up fuel prices last month, with average increases of 3.2p per litre for petrol and 3.3p per litre for diesel. This suggests the price war on fuel between the big retailers is well and truly over.

As always, there’s not much you can do to avoid these prices increases. But you may be able to reduce you car’s fuel consumption with these fuel-saving driving tips.

And you may be able to find cheaper fuel in your area using our fuel price search tool.

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