In May, motorists experienced the steepest increase in fuel prices — over one month — for 18 years. The Automobile Association (AA) warned motorists to expect another price hike this month and said fuel prices will ‘jump to record highs in June’. Unleaded petrol is now, on average, 129.4 pence per litre and diesel is averaging 132.4 pence per litre and could rise still further.
With recent increases in the prices of petrol and diesel, drivers are feeling the pinch, but as we know, prices vary depending on where in the UK you pay for your fuel. In April, PetrolPrices showed you the top 10 most expensive places to fill up in the UK. This time, we wanted to find out the hardest hit areas in the latest fuel price hike and help you spend less when it’s time to fill up.
Top 5 places with biggest price increase from first week of May 2018 to first week of June 2018
Cheshire motorists suffered the biggest price increase for unleaded petrol with a jump of 7.7 pence per litre over the month — the highest average fuel price increase overall, including diesel. With a price hike of 7.3 pence per litre of unleaded, Shropshire didn’t come far behind, at second place. Leicester residents, at fifth highest, experienced an increase of 6.7 pence per litre.
Diesel didn’t fare much better. Derbyshire and Warwickshire drivers have seen their pump prices rise by a respective 6.8 pence and 6.9 pence per litre. Nottinghamshire saw a steep increase of 7.4 pence per litre of diesel.
Motorists in Lincolnshire and Greater London experienced a double-whammy — with a hike in both unleaded and diesel prices — and were in second place on the list of places most affected by a price increase, with Lincolnshire seeing an increase of 7.4 pence per litre of unleaded and Greater London having to pay 7.5 pence more for diesel, per litre.
|County||Increase in pence per litre|
Data from PetrolPrices.com
|County||Increase in pence per litre|
Data from PetrolPrices.com
Together with the rising price of oil and the weaker pound, petrol and diesel prices are climbing, but why do prices vary by region?
With fewer customers and less competition, rural forecourts often charge more at the pumps. If these retailers are smaller, independent retailers, they may charge more to cover their business costs.
Big companies, such as supermarkets, are more likely to run the petrol stations in big cities. Due to this, they and can offer more competitive rates. They often have the cheapest prices because petrol stations must compete for a large number of potential customers.
Jason Lloyd, managing director of PetrolPrices.com, said: “There are several factors that come into play when explaining regional variation in fuel pricing across the UK. Often the prices are modelled against how affluent an area is – stations tend to charge more where average earnings are higher. Transport costs can also play a role; how close a refinery is to an area can sometimes make a difference. And brand competition is always something that needs to be taken into consideration; in areas where there are more supermarkets, the price tends to drop as they compete between themselves, and as other stations try to keep up.”
Ways to reduce your fuel costs
Despite drivers not being able to do much about the price of petrol and diesel, motorists CAN reduce what they spend on fuel.
Here at PetrolPrices, our mission is to save you money. If you haven’t already, download the PetrolPrices app. The average user saves £200 a year from using the app. We receive around 8,000 data updates for 98% of the UK fuel market, enabling us to find our members the cheapest available fuel wherever they are.
Here are other ways you can save money on your fuel costs:
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.
Don’t think slow driving is always best though. To drive well below the speed limit on motorways, etc, is dangerous. It’s also unlikely to save much fuel. Conserve momentum. This is as important for fuel consumption as not driving too fast.
Drive at the lowest speed you can, in the highest gear possible. Car manufacturers quote the most fuel-efficient driving speed as 55/56mph. This depends on your vehicle and several factors, including driving style. Road conditions and gradients mean you can’t always to stick to this ‘ideal’ speed, but you can learn to adjust your driving according to the road ahead. This technique is known as ‘hypermiling’.
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.
Go gentle on the accelerator. You always have to speed up several times on a journey but that doesn’t mean you have to drive off at speed.
Drive as smooth as you can. It’s the most energy-efficient way of driving and one that will deliver the best fuel economy. Be gentle with the accelerator, brakes, and steering. I try to drive this way and it makes for a much more relaxed journey. Focus in the distance on what’s coming up so you can make adjustments early to prevent a disruption to your flow.
Get clever with hills. Steep inclines destroy fuel economy. To speed up them reduces your mpg. If you spot a hill ahead, slightly speed up before you reach it, then reduce speed as you drive up. The extra momentum should be enough to minimise added consumption.
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.
Added weight affects fuel economy. On average, every 50kg increases fuel consumption by 2%, so don’t keep unnecessary items in your boot and only half fill your fuel tank if you’re an urban driver. Don’t leave your roof bars on, either — they cause wind resistance and ‘drag’, increasing fuel consumption. Typical roof racks weigh between 3kg-5kg but the aerodynamic factor is more. Empty roof racks increase fuel consumption by around 10%.
Don’t use your air conditioning unless you must. It uses the power of the engine which increases fuel consumption.
Consider making one round trip instead of several short trips. Engines work at their most efficient once warm. Starting a cold engine several times, increases fuel consumption, even though your journey may involve the same amount of miles.
Take a small detour, to a cheaper forecourt If there’s competition between retailers. This can save you as much as a few pence for every litre you buy. Over 12 months of driving you could save a lot of money. Stick not only with supermarkets; independent retailers can be price-competitive, too.
Make the most of supermarket price wars. The big supermarkets often tempt customers into their shops by reducing their fuel prices. Sometimes they’ll offer money-off vouchers at the till, for use at their forecourts. Supermarkets and other fuel retailers often run loyalty card schemes, too. Collect points each time you fill up your tank and spend the points (or exchange them vouchers) for future fuel purchases.
Consider a credit card that offers cashback for use at filling stations. While you won’t save you money right away, you’ll get back something into your account, which can offset the fuel price hikes. Avoid these cards if you don’t always pay your credit card balance in full each month — your savings will get cancelled out by the interest paid.
Keep up with your car maintenance and servicing. Your tyres and brake pads can affect the overall performance and fuel economy of your car. Inflate your tyres to the correct pressure as stated in your owner’s manual. This’ll vary depending on the load you’re carrying, be it a full boot or passengers.
Unless you’re phobic about them use motorways — they’re the most fuel-efficient roads in the country and, statistics show they’re the safest roads, too. If you have cruise control, motorways are the perfect place to use — on a constant flat surface — to increase your car’s fuel economy.
Is your area one of the worst hit by the steep increase in fuel prices? How much are you paying for fuel where you are? What changes have you made to your motoring habits because of the price hike? Let us know in the comments.
Been saying for at least 25 Years to Friends and Family not to Fill their Fuefuel Tanks To Capacity coz that is a Lot of Dead Weight.
I guess it depends on the car, I’ve tried quarter/half tank vs full tank and it made very little difference to the consumption/mpg and that was travelling 250 miles per week in a 1999 Impreza Turbo and it was driven economically. I got sick of going to the petrol station so I end up just filling the tank. The best way to increase mpg is to add more air to the tyres (just a small amount) but this increases your breaking distance. To save on fuel price I then had it converted to LPG professionally, which I recommend if you are keeping the car for more than 3 years.
i have a hyundia i30 blue drive 1.6 diesel there is no road tax to pay ,its quite fast and it does 50 to 60 round the doors and up to 80 on a long run
I’m not sure if it is an “urban legend” or not and I’ve no scientific evidence to support but I heard that filling early in the morning and holding the pump nozzle trigger at 1/4 to 1/2 way while filling does something to the fuel “capacity”. I have an 80mile daily commute 50 of which on motorway. I have a TT and I set the cruise control on the motorway but I do “enjoy” the single track twisty bits between the motorway and home in sports mode. If you can’t enjoy what you do what’s the point? I track the mpg by filling up to the exact same point and logging miles and litres used. Since doing the above I do appear to get improved mpg and about an extra 25miles on average between fills.
Nothing new there then,tell me when the Petrol companies will reflect the true price of oil.
I don’t think it will be soon,as they are grabbing profiteering robbers.
And so are the government with their massive taxes on the total cost of fuel – I understand approximately 2/3 of the price.
why do not pay the same as the EU countrys ?
Why should we pay the same as other EU countries, the price we pay for petrol is high enough already owing to over taxation, you want to increase it – really???
The problem is the weak pound all oil is in dollars which pushes price up even more.
Even when the pound goes up against the dollar, the fuel prices never drop.
Yet no one – not even the motoring organisations – have taken the government to court for illegally applying one tax, VAT, onto another tax, ie. fuel duty. According to EU law, VAT can only be applied to goods and services, but not to a tax or duty.
I don’t agree with the advice about not using ones air con unless you must, some people may follow this advice and never use it thinking that they will always then be saving on fuel but an air con system relies it’s use to keep the refridgerent gas circulating as it also contains the lubricant necessary to keep the compressor and seals in good order. Save on fuel with it off but possibly face a huge bill when your aircon fails from lack of use.
Aircon just another gimmick to sell cars !!I want mine without Aircon
My Landrover D2 has aircon, they are called windows, don’t bother with the sun roofs as they leak. lol
Rolling widows down increases drag which increases fuel consumption (even on a LandRover!)
What have you got against widows?
I’ve tried driving with and without aircon switched on and there is NO discernable difference in consumption on a largeish car. Maybe these tiny underpowered economy boxes take so much engine power to run the aircon that it makes a difference, but on a full sized car there is no difference with or without aircon.
Another important fuel saving is to turn off your engine at level crossings (and this helps the environment anyway).
Personally, I bought an easy-folding pedal bike (a Brompton) with substantial easily removable bags fore & aft, which I can easily take if I want to either in the boot, on the train or bus, or to the supermarket or indoors. It fits in the shopping trolley, and folded can be used and moved as a small shopping cart. I’m using this much more than my car now, & enjoying the fresh air, the view & the excercise – as well as the fuel economy.
Not in a city, you wont, you will be dead from pollution and idiot drivers before you reach your destination. Most accidents in cities, who make it to A&E, are cyclists who have been knocked over, and motor cyclists are even worse.
As with driving a car, care is required. So far, so good.
Oldun, I presume by your name that you are of advanced years? Well so am I and I still ride a powerful motorbike and even after all my years of riding I have not as yet knocked over a cyclist,
or crashed into any vehicle being my fault. It’s happened the other way round with a car but only once. So we are not all morons on the road as you seem to suggest.
^ Citation needed
This doesn’t apply to big car drivers, like Merc’s, BMW’s, Audi’s and Chelsea Tractors. These drivers have business accounts, and all fuel costs are put through the books for the taxman to sort out. That is why they speed like lunatics without any thought for others. How strange then, that my city, who has a plethora of these vehicles, is top of the list for speeders.
Not true. Looking round our car park and our office, a number of people drive BMW’s, not one of them on a business account – all privately owned. Typical generalisation about car brands and drivers.
There’s not much any of us can do about the pump prices for our motoring fuel, other than trying to keep topping up whenever we see what looks like a decent deal, but even then if there is a price dip one may have bought in at the wrong time. (I have always preferred to keep the top half of my tank full rather than the bottom half anyhow.)
That which I can assert, however, is that with my having been buying car fuels since 1965, I have noted over those years just how coincidental and perhaps cynically, pump prices have risen coincident with the onset of the better weather months when we are more persuaded to be buying fuel for family leisure use, that often involving longer drives than in the cold, dark periods. The approach of bank holiday periods have, over those, years have nearly always brought with them steep fuel prices rises, or so it as seemed to me.
However, there is one very valid way to cut down on our motoring fuel costs. For those of normal mobility, it’s called walking! Cut out all of those unnecessary short drives which will invariably be on a cold engine, which is when the motor is at its lowest efficiency (apart from when stuck in those interminable and ever worsening traffic queues). Buy some decent shoes, a WP jacket and a stout, reusable shopping bag and walk to the local shop or post box, or pub. Don’t be put off because it’s raining or cold, or both. You are not made of sugar and won’t melt!
Also, of course, there is a beneficial spin-off from that. It’s good for us to indulge in some moderate cardio-vascular effort and a pair of decent shoes and a good weather proof coat for bad days costs a lot less gym fees too!
Part of the reason we are constantly screwed by the big petro-chem companies is because they know they can rely upon us to not be prised out of our car. Also, because our Exchequer is substantially dependent upon motoring taxes, any meaningful government initiatives are are highly unlikely too. A drop in motor fuel sale, or prices, is bad news for the tax collectors. But we can always vote with our feet, literally.
The price of fuel in Britain now is a joke the government hits us with a Levi then vat so they screw us twice, every price rise with diesel the haulage companies put there prices up then the supermarkets pass it on to the public, I am glad I don’t drive a 2 litre car these days.
And looking at the state of our roads all the tax we pay as motorists is NOT being used for the roads but as general taxation which I think is wrong but all governments are afraid to raise general taxation as people would then find out just how much tax they really pay. I understand that the taxes we pay as motorists only goes to upkeep our motorways & trunk roads all other roads come out of our council tax.
So we have to pay a few quid more a year than we did.
Not exactly the end of the world is it?
I am off to Thailand for nine months soon, petrol is 80p a litre, that will make me laugh.
Don’t rub it in .l used to 3 gallons to a £1 Lol
I remember in 1972 when prices shot up to £1 a gallon, that was 4.4 litres and we all complained, min you I was only earning 12 quid a week so it is much cheaper today proportionally than it was then.
Is this only covering England? In my area of Cardiff diesel has gone up by about 10p or more per litre.
Yes, about 10p here too (Bridgend) but still about 10p below the average stated in the article.
if you need to do all this to drive around then just maybe you should go by public transport as it looks like you can`t really afford to run a car with all the expenses involved in keeping it on the road.
I live in Exeter which has several supermarkets and they are more expensive than Taunton 30miles away by up to 7p a litre for diesel yet they are supposed to compete with each other. They magically all move their prices at the same time. Very suspicious.
Save weight . Leave the missus at home.
Costs per litre ? Most drivers use miles per gallon. Scare drivers by stating the cost per gallon over 4 litres in a gallon
Yip a gallon is 4.546 litres, I always convert the measurements because I can’t stand litres, in fact I’m not a great fan of metric measurements in general!
Absolutely bring back the gallon lol
Absolutely! And why are they allowed to charge 0.9p? That should be made illegal. It does not fool anyone. Other traders in furniture, electric appliances etc also have this ridiculous thing with their £99.99 instead of £100.
If you cannot afford to by petrol or diesel it is time to sell your car and use public transport, cycle or even walk that’s if you remember how to as many drivers seem to have forgotten how to walk more than a few yards Abandon your car as near as possible to where you want to be so you do not need to walk at all and so your offspring do not have to walk at all when going to school Many parents would like to drive into the school to drop their offspring so the would not need to walk too
“Get clever with hills.”?
It’s not as clear cut as ‘inclines ruin economy’ On an undulating uphill stretch I use regularly, if I go up it at 50 mph, I can stay in 6th gear and maintain speed, drop below 40, such as following a slower vehicle, and and I have to work the gears at higher revs in order to maintain that lower speed as the gradient alters and my MPG drops significantly.
air conditioning on or windows down?
Over 45mph the drag of windows open exceeds the airconditioning energy use so it is not true about airconditiong using more energy.
I seem to remember in Australia the CSIRO did some research on this too
Oil producers / suppliers are like banks. They are leaches feeding off a ‘locked in’ market. It will be wonderful to see them go down and out as alternatives are developed. The coming of the real electric car that will have a good range and be easy and quick to charge has been delayed long enough. Have the oil companies had a part in hindering of the progress of development? The ultra high taxation of fuel is also a near criminal act and government is just as guilty of fleecing car owners as the oil companies. Extra tax should be raised from the higher taxation of luxury goods as is the case in Norway. Such products as alcohol, tobacco, jewellery, TV’s, home appliances and confectionery are just a few examples. Then appropriately taxing the obscene incomes of top executives, sportsmen, film and TV stars etc. Treat them the same as luxury goods. If they are not an essential occupation then tax them accordingly. After the last war there was ‘super tax’ which was as high as 19/6d in the £. This ensured that profit went back into development and there were very few ‘Super Rich’. The difference between the average wage and the board room was then quite slim by comparison. No I am not a communist and I did not vote labour.
Interesting views, when the electric car arrives…wonder how the electric companies will respond! – supermarkets drive the price of UK fuel more than any supply chain! trading negative to even the refiners due to the scale of shop profits
Fuel is NEARLY back to the prices of 2011 and not reached 2013 prices (yet). So as inflation hit 3% late last year, it’s cheaper in real terms. That’s not to say the fuel companies aren’t profiteering by relying on summer travel demand to raise prices (as they generally do).
Pretty poor analysis and not enough information
Very poor analysis with little information
As drivers we ought to wait till our car runs out of fuel then leave leave it where it is
If EVRYONE did that then they would have to bring the price of fuel down !!!!
I was in Bulgaria recently and that found petrol is 25% less there showing that our taxes are too high. The government know this that’s why I think they have been afraid of raising fuel duty for a few years. LPG use is also high there and would be a better bet than driving a hybrid car which cost more and are not fuel efficient. I drive an old diesel which does 60mpg and use a road bike and a large sports tourer motorbike to beat the queues. Driving economically with slightly more pressure in the tyres saves loads of fuel, together with driving with light loads with the windows shut (using the aircon when needed) and planned journeys with a satnav to home in on the destination point helps save time and avoids getting lost. Buying the cheapest fuel and avoiding the motorway highway robbing services. Use half a tank of fuel in town but full tank for motorway journeys. Most of all drive less and keep more of that tax money out of the government hands.
Also do minimize car use. Try alternatives – walk, cycle, bus, taxi, train, air. Use in combination with information and timetable apps; you will have flexibility and avoid wasteful expensive single use car journeys. Take up reading on your journeys.
Not possible if you live rural, no choice but to pay through the nose or sell car and live off the doll, get all your shopping online and never go out anywhere. The government must want us all in cities WHERE THEY CAN MORE EASILY CONTROL US.
Stop getting stressed out about a few pence by taking simple no brainer actions – live nearer to work, think before you drive anywhere. A bus ride is far more relaxing so take a day off from driving.
Share your work journey after all it made Peter Kay a few quid !
Don’t sit in queues like the idiots do around here, try another route. Get your council to put in more bus lanes. Not only are you wasting your cash by jamming, but you are polluting everybody elses fresh air. Using more fuel makes billions for Russian oligarchs to name a few. Gov take will be spent on NHS possibly and might save you or your family’s life, so stop whinging about that..
On a motorway journey I turn the air con on when going along a downhill stretch, when the engine is virtually coasting, and turn it off when going uphill, to avoid an additional load on the engine.
1. On a driving awarenesscourse ( yes whoops – but I was only 3 miles over the 30 & within tolerance for prosecution) we were told to drive in the same gear as the speed limit & keep revs to 2K – seems that it depends whether you want to save fuel or your licence!
2. My local dealer told me to thrash my cat in 3rd gear once a week – on a clear straight road of course, to clear deposits from the catalytic exhaust system – a friend had to replace his & the cost was in the low thousands.
Any comment anyone?
The low pound and resulting unnecessary inflation, caused by the brexit vote, has seriously worsened this issue. We probably have no choice but to live with this unnecessary problem now for some years to come.
Getting rid of economical diesels for more thirsty petrol vehicles, must have increased tax income!