In a surprise move by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, delivered a speech at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, October 3rd, promising that fuel duty will not rise in the budget released on the 29th October.

“On their side”

With this statement, the PM said that the government is “on the side of hardworking families.”
Mrs May demonstrated her rededication to those who just about manage each month, saying “Many people in towns and cities across our country, cannot take these [substantial savings] for granted. They are the people this party exists for.

They are the people for whom this party must deliver. It’s for them that we cut income tax. Introduced a National Living Wage. Extended free childcare. And froze fuel duty every year. Because for millions of people, their car is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Money in the pockets of hard-working people from a Conservative Government that is on their side.”

Response from the Chancellor

Philip Hammond, who last month we reported on wanting to raise fuel duty, has admitted that while the cost of freezing duty would come at great cost to the Exchequer, he acknowledged “The high oil price and the near-record pump price of petrol and diesel are also imposing a significant burden on motorists.”

“So we have decided that to support hardworking families, we will once again freeze fuel duty in the upcoming budget.”

Scrapping the rise will save the motorist £1.20 every time they fill up, on average, but will cost the Treasury £800 million over the course of the financial year.

Not all good news

Following in the wake of this news, it was also revealed that the current supermarket price war is set to be short-lived as the oil price has skyrocketed recently. This time last week it was at $80 and as of the 3rd of October, it was sitting at $84 dollars. Tensions between Iran and America, as well as a volatile pound amid the Brexit negotiations have all contributed to the high prices of oil.

For drivers of petrol cars, there has been some relief towards the end of September, with the price of petrol starting September at 131.1ppl at a national average, and finishing at 130.4ppl, thanks to the price war.

Diesel drivers, on the other hand, have seen the opposite with prices starting at 133.9ppl, dropping the following week to 133.4ppl and then at the end of the month hitting a high of 134.5ppl. While the price of diesel is higher at the moment due to “increased European demand for heating oil which is produced from the same ’part of the barrel’, but the higher oil price and weaker exchange rate means the effect is exaggerated,” says Simon Williams of the RAC.

Prepare for increase

Experts are warning that an increase in fuel prices is incoming and to be prepared. If you can, fill up your tank now as the prices are lower.

The RAC’s Simon Williams said of the increases “Petrol drivers will be hoping that September was the month that stopped the rot in terms of rising pump prices, but this may well not be the case. A dark cloud is hanging over forecourts as oil is at a four-year high and there is lots of volatility in the exchange rate due to the increasing tension of the Brexit negotiations.”

Check the prices near you by downloading the PetrolPrices app and you’ll be able to check the prices wherever you are in the country.

You can also save money on your driving by using some hypermiling techniques, see if any of these tips help:

  • Don’t use unnecessary speed. The Department for Transport figures states you’ll use up to 9% more fuel driving at 70mph than you would at 60mph and up to 25% more fuel travelling at 80mph instead of 70mph. The faster you drive, the greater your fuel consumption. Set off a little before you need to, to avoid feeling rushed.
  • Keep the car moving as much as you can. The ability to do this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to speed up again uses more fuel.
  • Keep your engine revolutions low by changing up gears early. You’ll lose speed fast if you let the engine labour. Try to keep the engine speed in the ideal fuel-efficient spot.

Do you think that the right decision has been made over fuel duty? How will the projected increases affect you? Let us know in the comments below

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