Unleaded Prices Drop to Jan 2022 Level While Diesel Remains Higher

Unleaded Prices Drop to Jan 2022 Level While Diesel Remains Higher

Unleaded prices have continued to fall during 2023, with the average reported price falling below 145ppl for the first time since January 2022. Unleaded prices peaked in the summer of 2022, hitting 190ppl, but have dropped back 24% since July 2022.

Diesel users are not seeing the same reduction at the pumps as prices remain over 161ppl, up from 149ppl in January 2022. Diesel has only dropped by around 15% since the July 2022 peak. As a result, diesel users are paying more than 17ppl more than petrol; this compares to just 4-5ppl a little over a year ago.

However, this difference is reducing. Since the start of 2023, unleaded prices have dropped by 5ppl while diesel prices have dropped back in the region of 10ppl. Reductions in unleaded, diesel and other energy sources have started to help steady the inflation rate.

As well as seeing a reduction in prices, the range of prices is also narrowing. Fuel prices can vary significantly between petrol stations. This variation is especially true when there are significant changes in wholesale prices. As wholesale prices have become more stable, we have seen a reduction in price variations across unleaded and diesel. There has been a 4ppl reduction in this spread since the start of the year. However, shopping around for the best prices can still bring significant savings.





Two major reasons we are seeing this increase in diesel prices compared to unleaded are how we source diesel and unleaded and how diesel demand has grown.

The latest refining figures from gov.uk show the UK refineries produced over 4.1 million tonnes of unleaded in the third quarter of 2022, but the demand was only 2.8 million tonnes, meaning that the UK is a net exporter of unleaded. In comparison, the UK only produced 3.2 million tonnes of diesel but had a demand of 5.7 million tonnes, so it needed to import the shortfall. This can put pressure on the diesel supply chain and result in higher costs. The UK has also shifted away from Russian imports in favour of imports from the Netherlands, Belgium and Kuwait.

In addition, diesel demand increased by 5.2% compared to the third quarter of 2021, while unleaded fell by 3.9%.

Other factors that can influence the prices are refinery and forecourt margins. These continuously change depending on market conditions. Using the PetrolPrices mobile app and website remains the best tool to compare UK fuel prices and help drive competition between fuel retailers.

Hydrogen Filling Station UK Network Development

Hydrogen Filling Station UK Network Development

Hydrogen Filling Station UK Network Development

Two hydrogen pumps are included in plans for a service station development submitted by the forecourt dealer group Euro Garages to Aberdeenshire Council. The company has applied for planning permission for a service station adjacent to the A90 comprising a petrol filling station, EV charging and hydrogen refuelling.

A planning statement with the application states that the hydrogen refuelling station will be supplied by Element 2, a UK company aiming to develop a network of hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK. The statement adds: “Element 2 see the application site as being a strategic location for the provision of a hydrogen refuelling station as it is located on the main road transport route from the central belt to the north-east of Scotland, passing through the major cities of Dundee and Aberdeen. This will be one of a few hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK that can serve both HGVs and cars….The refuelling area will comprise two refuelling bays located under a canopy, accommodating two vehicles, with space behind the bays for additional queueing vehicles.”

The new site in Aberdeenshire follows the Euro Garage group’s investment of £25m in a UK company developing a hydrogen fuel cell heavy goods vehicle (HGV) in October of last year. HVS (Hydrogen Vehicle Systems Ltd) has already completed its first hydrogen medium commercial vehicle (MCV) prototype and is well underway in developing its second flagship HGV.

The two companies said they aim to advance the UK government’s declaration to become the first country in the world to commit to phasing out new non-zero emission HGVs. With their partnership, they said, EG Group has the potential to provide hydrogen refuelling infrastructure nationwide. At the same time, HVS offers zero-emission freight vehicles, working together to bring hydrogen to the market.

EG Group initially invested £5m into HVS in 2021 and has now injected a further £25m.


The UK Hydrogen Refuelling Market

There are currently 15 hydrogen filling stations in the UK. An earlier government and industry forecast estimated there would be 65 refuelling stations in Britain by 2020, a plan that has not been met. However, there have been some developments in recent months that have highlighted a more confident and expansionist mood for hydrogen enthusiasts.

The UK will have a nationwide network of hydrogen refuelling stations operational at the end of this year as plans by British start-up Element 2 take effect. The initial push is to service heavy trucks and light commercial vehicles, but private cars like the Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo and the new BMW iX5 Hydrogen will be able to use Element 2’s pumping technology.

Trucks and buses are the number-one priority for Element 2’s hydrogen because the 600,000 trucks operating daily in the UK contribute 18% to road transport emissions. There’s also a better business case for refuelling stations focused on trucks and buses since a truck typically consumes 50kg of hydrogen per day, a bus 20kg and a car just 1kg. Given that 1kg of hydrogen costs £15, including 20% VAT (but no fuel duty), just 1,000 trucks moving to hydrogen will generate £750,000 of revenue per day.

So far, Element 2 has made rapid progress with £6.5 million of investment, but two further funding rounds totalling £100m are planned for this year. Ultimately, investment is likely to hit £1 billion by 2027.

The hydrogen fuel cell has been tomorrow’s technology since the mid-1990s, but Carbon Zero policies have accelerated their introduction in heavy trucks, soon to be followed in light commercial vans and pick-ups.

“From all we hear from operators, about 30% of operations, mainly urban work, can be met by battery-electric haulage. For other operations, it’s the fuel cell that can replace the internal combustion engine,” said Brendan Bilton, chief technology officer at Element 2.

Element 2 is concentrating its network on the UK’s 147 truck stops to fulfil this emerging demand. It estimates it needs 800 individual nozzles – about five per truck stop – by 2027 to provide comprehensive national coverage. Last July, it announced its first two sites with planning permission approved, one at Coneygarth on the A1 near Northallerton and a second on the M6 near Carlisle.

At its truck-stop sites, the hydrogen pumps will be located on their forecourts, away from petrol/diesel areas. They will be fed by 40-foot-long compressed-gas tanker trailers towed from a central depot. Element 2 has a hydrogen supply contract with chemicals giant Ineos from its Runcorn plant on Merseyside.

5.3 million drivers are risking running out of fuel when driving, new research finds

5.3 million drivers are risking running out of fuel when driving, new research finds

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Over half of motorists could be at risk of costly repairs because they wait too long to fill up their vehicle, a new study reveals.

Research carried out by Motorpoint found that 42% of drivers wait until their fuel light comes on before putting fuel in their car, and a further 16% admitted trying to use up every mile of fuel before refilling – risking damage to their engine.

Explaining why you shouldn’t wait for your fuel light to come on before filling up, Tim Rodie, driving expert at Motorpoint said: “You don’t need to wait for the fuel light to come on to visit the petrol station – it’s something I would encourage drivers to get out of the habit of doing.

“Whether you have a petrol or diesel vehicle, regularly running your car close to empty can cause a range of issues that can be expensive to fix. It’s important to remember that the fuel warning light is designed to make it clear that you must fill up your car, nothing good can come from trying to run down your remaining mileage.”


How much fuel is left when the warning light comes on?

The fuel light is designed to warn drivers that they are beginning to run low on fuel and help prevent unnecessary breakdowns.

As Tim Rodie explains: “As a general rule, the warning light will only come on when the total capacity of your fuel tank drops below 10 – 15% – how far this will get you is completely dependent on how good your fuel economy is and the way you drive.

“There isn’t a standard distance you’ll be able to travel with your fuel warning light on, so it’s always better to be cautious and fill up as soon as possible. The longer you leave it to fill up, the greater the risk is that you’ll unknowingly cause damage to your engine – which will cost you much more in the long run to fix.”

Is it illegal to drive with low fuel?

While it isn’t illegal to drive with your fuel light on, if your car breaks down as a result of not filling up and causes an obstruction or accident, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

According to the Highway Code, if you run out of fuel when driving and cause an obstruction or accident, this can be viewed as ‘careless and inconsiderate driving’, which carries an unlimited fine and between three and nine penalty points.1

Based on current driving habits, Motorpoint predicts that 5.3 million drivers will be at risk of running out of fuel in 2023.

Tim said: “As a motorist, you have a responsibility to drive in a way that won’t put yourself or other road users at risk and running out of fuel can be dangerous. Breaking down and having to wait at the side as a result of your fuel running out is completely avoidable and can lead to accidents – particularly if it were to happen on a motorway or other busy road.”

What can happen if you drive with low fuel? 

Beyond the risk of breaking down and having to call for help, driving with low fuel can damage parts of your engine, warns Tim. 

“Making a habit of driving with low fuel can affect the health of your whole fuel system, but particularly the fuel pump and filter, which are both essential to keep your car running smoothly. 

“When it comes to your fuel pump, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of if you make a habit of going too long between fuelling up. Not only can air be drawn into your fuel system, which can lead to your vehicle stalling or refusing to start, but your fuel pump isn’t designed to work without fuel running through it, which can cause it to overheat.” 

“As your fuel level starts to run low, any debris that has collected at the bottom of your tank can be picked up and run through your fuel system. Over time, this debris can clog your fuel filter, limiting the amount of fuel that makes it to your engine, potentially causing a failure. 

When should you be filling up your car? 

Rather than waiting for the fuel light to come on, Tim recommends filling up your tank when it gets below a quarter full. 

“It might seem counterintuitive to head back to the petrol station while you still have fuel in your tank, but it really is the best thing you can do for your vehicle and might even save you miles, as you can plan to fill up when passing a petrol station rather than needing to go out of your way. 

“No one likes holding their breath and wondering if you have enough miles left to get to the nearest petrol station, so always having some fuel in your tank is the safest way to drive. Not only is it the only way to prevent running out and any of the other issues that can arise from driving on empty, but it could also save you a costly repair bill down the line.”



For more information, visit:  https://www.motorpoint.co.uk/press/uk-motorists-will-see-nearly-400-added-to-fuel-bills-new-report-finds  

Survey conducted by SurveyGoo on behalf of Motorpoint with a sample of 2,083 UK car owners in January 2023. All statistics and findings have been rounded to the nearest whole number. A full data set is available on request. 

1) https://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/penalty-table.html

Tim Rodie

With over a decade’s experience in the automotive industry, Tim heads up Motorpoint’s YouTube and TikTok channels, where he reviews a huge range of nearly new cars, pointing out their useful features, flaws and surprising extras.

Check out his latest video here: https://www.youtube.com/@motorpoint


Established in 1998 Motorpoint is the UK’s largest independent retailer of nearly new cars and vans. All vehicles are under 30,000 miles and less than four years old.

Proposed MOT Changes Raise Safety Issues

Proposed MOT Changes Raise Safety Issues

In mid-January 2023, the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation to seek views on changing MOTs in light of changes in vehicle technology. The department said they would seek opinions regarding the need to update MOT testing for cars, motorbikes and vans to ensure roadworthiness checks continue to balance costs on motorists while ensuring road safety, keeping up with advancements in vehicle technology, and tackling vehicle emissions.

The consultation seeks responses to proposals to require most vehicles to have their first MOT four years after they are registered. Under existing regulations, most vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales that are three years old or over must have a current MOT test certificate. It must be renewed annually at a maximum legal cost of £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a standard motorcycle. The MOT test comprehensively checks everything from windscreen wipers and headlights to structural bodywork condition and handbrake efficacy. In Northern Ireland, tests are compulsory after four years. Drivers who do not have a valid certificate can be fined up to £1,000.

The DfT said delaying the first test for new vehicles could save around £100m a year for motorists. Officials added that significant developments in vehicle technology had increased road safety since MOTs were introduced in 1960. DfT figures show 26 people were killed in crashes on Britain’s roads in 2021 when vehicle defects were a contributory factor. The department said the number of casualties in crashes caused by vehicle defects is low and government analysis shows delaying the first MOT should not impact road safety.

Any changes to the MOT will be supported by an information campaign led by the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to inform drivers of the updates to MOTs and remind them of their responsibility to keep vehicles roadworthy. Undertaking roadworthiness testing four years after the vehicle’s registration is already standard practice across many European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.



Concerns raised by motoring organisations and retailers


Several motoring organisations and retailers have raised concerns about the proposed changes. The AA president Edmund King argued, “With one in 10 cars failing their first MOT, we strongly discourage the Government from extending a car’s first MOT to the fourth anniversary due to road safety concerns. When this proposal was last considered in 2017-18, the four-year policy did not obtain public support, with many citing concerns over vehicle safety as the main reason for opposing the move. We do not believe this to have changed over time. Safety items like tyres and brakes can often be deficient after three years.”

The RAC’s head of road policy, Nicholas Lyes, added: “While we’re not opposed to delaying a new vehicle’s first MOT, we believe there should be a requirement for particularly high mileage vehicles to be tested sooner. If the Government is looking to improve the MOT, now is the ideal time to take into account how much a vehicle is driven, alongside the number of years it’s been on the road. We’re also disappointed the Government is still entertaining the idea of increasing the time between MOTs. Our research clearly shows drivers don’t agree with this and believe it’s dangerous. It would also likely increase the number of unroadworthy vehicles on our roads – putting lives at risk – and not save drivers any money as they would likely end up with bigger repair bills as a result.”

A recent article in the Times raised the spectre that almost a quarter of a million dangerous vehicles would be allowed on the roads yearly if MOTs for new cars were delayed. Motoring groups and mechanics have hit back at the plans, warning that, on average, 14 per cent of vehicles fail their first MOT at three years. With new car sales averaging 1.6 million a year for the past three years, they argue that 225,000 vehicles that reach their third year of registration will likely be in a dangerous condition.

Halfords, the motoring and bicycle business, said that worn tyres, brake pads, and faulty steering and suspension are among the most common reasons cars fail their first MoT.

“The government is right to look at ways to save motorists money, but that cannot come at the expense of safety,” said Graham Stapleton, the chief executive of Halfords. “There are other steps they could take, such as extending the 5p a litre cut on fuel duty. Many of the issues spotted at the first MoT are easy and inexpensive to fix, but if left to fester, they could turn into an expensive repair, meaning it could be a false economy for many motorists.”

The DfT consultation runs until 1st March 2023.

London and Nottingham revealed as top EV cities

London and Nottingham revealed as top EV cities

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Analysis by the used-car marketplace Motorway has revealed that London and Nottingham are the top two cities in the UK for electric vehicles (EVs). London has been named the city leading the charge on electric vehicle adoption, with EVs representing almost 25% of new and used car sales. It also paves the way with 8,600 public charging points. However, when it comes to charging availability, London ranks at 15, with the ratio of chargers to people standing at 1 to 1,672. Nottingham ranks second on the index, compiled by reviewing EV sales data by region, charging point availability and clean air policies of cities and towns across the UK.

With the 2030 electric switchover fast approaching, motorists are making a conscious effort with their car choices. Bedford ranked third for electric-vehicle readiness, following the development of its extensive net-zero strategy and its focus on installing public charging points. Meanwhile, Newcastle upon Tyne has been named as an electric vehicle hotspot with more electric cars sold in 2022 than anywhere else in the UK.


The top 10 electric car cities and towns revealed by Motorway:

  1. London
  2. Nottingham
  3. Bedford
  4. Manchester
  5. Newcastle upon Tyne
  6. Milton Keynes
  7. Bristol
  8. Oxford
  9. Coventry
  10. Southampton

To read more about the research and results of the analysis of EV cities leading the charge, visit motorway best EV cities

For an estimated valuation of your car, visit motorway.co.uk

EV charging capability expands on UK motorways

EV charging capability expands on UK motorways

By 2030 EV charging will require 12 times as much energy as we currently have warned Moto chief executive Ken McMeikan, as his company reached a 200 charge-point milestone. In an article in Forecourt Trader, he said engagement from Government and the National Grid to help industry address the challenges faced was vital. He commented, “By 2040, we will need ten times as many chargers to meet the projected increased demand.”

He said that while Moto is optimistic that the challenge posed can be overcome, open discussions are needed. Improving the UK’s energy mix and grid capacity will take leadership from businesses, commercial landlords, the Government, electricity suppliers and charging providers collaborating on solutions.

There are now close to 34,000 public charging devices in the UK, but despite industry efforts to invest in EV infrastructure, range anxiety and charging anxiety continue to be stumbling blocks in the transition to electric vehicles.

There are now close to 34,000 public charging devices in the UK, but despite industry efforts to invest in EV infrastructure, range anxiety and charging anxiety continue to be stumbling blocks in the transition to electric vehicles.

Moto now has 211 ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargers available on its network following last week’s opening of 12 new chargers at Moto Reading Westbound. Before the launch, Gridserve and Tesla had already added ultra-rapid chargers to 20 hubs on Moto sites. They created the largest Superhub on the UK’s motorway at Moto Exeter Services, which has 33 chargers.

Initially, 12 Gridserve chargers were launched as part of the latest network expansion at Moto Reading Westbound on the M4, with the capacity to expand when future demand requires. Supplied by renewable, net-zero carbon energy, the 350kW-capable ultra-rapid chargers claim to deliver up to 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes.

All 12 chargers have been online since late January. This newest investment expands the number of chargers available on the M4 with a total of 53 ultra-rapid chargers across Moto Heston (West), Reading, Leigh Delamere, Severn View and Swansea, with more scheduled to come. Moto Reading, Woolley Edge and Hilton Park now have ultra-rapid charging facilities on either side of the carriageway, becoming Moto’s first twin Motorway Service Areas with an EV offering.

McMeikan said: “When we opened our first ultra-rapid EV Charging Hub at Moto Rugby, we knew it represented a major turning point in the feasibility of EV vehicle ownership – signalling the arrival of more accessible, more reliable and quicker on-the-go charging options. Now, just 18 months later, having over 200 such charge points across our network is a vast achievement. Together with our partners, we have overcome significant planning, legal and infrastructure barriers to deliver a better charging experience for EV owners, as well as make the prospect of EV ownership more attractive. Work doesn’t stop here, however. UK demand for EVs continues to grow and already accounts for almost a fifth of all new car sales. Our network-wide roll-out continues at pace to meet that demand and work towards our ambition to install more than 1,600 ultra-rapid chargers by 2030.”

Recent projections from Moto reveal what the future of EV driving will look like on UK roads over the next two decades, with one in 25 cars on the road in 2023 being EVs, one in 10 by 2025, one in 3 by 2030 and four in five by 2040.

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