November has been a difficult month for drivers, as predictions of a fuel price rise became a firm reality. As we move into the busy Christmas period, motorists are paying more at the pump than they have all year, though there are still significant differences in prices between regions. PetrolPrices has reviewed the latest regional differences, as well as looking ahead to see what trends should be like in December.
November price trends
Overall, the average price of both unleaded and diesel rose last month in comparison to October. In fact, both types of fuel reached their highest overall average price this year. The average unleaded price was 120.2 pence per litre, while the average diesel price was 122.6 pence. For unleaded vehicle drivers, this is the highest price they’ve paid since November 2014; for diesel drivers, it’s the highest price since December 2014.
There are significant regional price differences around the UK. For example, drivers in Yorkshire and The Humber suffered the most significant increase during the month, with unleaded prices rising from 118.14 pence per litre to 120.74 pence on average. Scotland saw the lowest change in the average unleaded price, which rose from 118.48 pence per litre to 120.38 pence during November.
For diesel drivers, the South West saw the most significant change over the course of the month, with prices shooting up from 121.04 pence per litre to 123.50 pence. London saw the lowest change in prices, with diesel rising from 121.37 pence per litre to 123.28 pence.
The November fuel price figures mean that the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car with unleaded now stands at £66.43 – a rise of £3.55 on the cost in July, when fuel prices were at their lowest. The same size tank of diesel now costs £67.75 – an increase of £1.22 since October and £4.50 more than in July.
Cheapest areas for diesel
So where in the country can you currently find the most affordable prices for diesel? The lowest price is in Loanhead, Midlothian with a price of 1.139 pence per litre on average. That’s followed by Currie in Edinburgh, at 1.147 pence per litre and Leigh in Greater Manchester at 1.163 pence. Across the UK, the top then cheapest locations to buy diesel in are:
- 1.139 – Loanhead, Midlothian
- 1.147 – Currie, Edinburgh
- 1.163 – Leigh, Greater Manchester
- 1.163 – Tamworth, Staffordshire
- 1.168 – Dukinfield, Greater Manchester
- 1.169 – Willenhall, West Midlands
- 1.171 – Penicuik, Midlothian
- 1.177 – Spennymoor, County Durham
- 1.182 – Penzance, Cornwall
- 1.183 – Tilbury, Thurrock
Cheapest areas for unleaded
The lowest priced areas for unleaded mirror those for diesel. For the lowest unleaded prices in the UK, head to Loanhead again, for a cost of 1.105 pence per litre. The next cheapest location is Currie at 1.117 pence, then Leigh at 1.126 pence. The top ten cheapest unleaded prices by location are:
- 1.105 – Loanhead, Midlothian
- 1.117 – Currie, Edinburgh
- 1.126 – Leigh, Greater Manchester
- 1.128 – Dukinfield, Greater Manchester
- 1.135 – Sandown, Isle of Wight
- 1.136 – Ryde, Isle of Wight
- 1.137 – Penzance, Cornwall
- 1.138 – Cwmbran, Torfaen
- 1.140 – Spennymoor, County Durham
- 1.142 – Leyland, Lancashire
Most expensive areas for diesel
At the other end of the scale, Markfield in Leicester topped the list of the most expensive places to buy diesel in the country last month, with an average price of 1.386 pence per litre. It was followed by Acharacle in Highland and Tighnabruiach in Argyll & Bute. Across the country, the top ten most expensive places to buy diesel are:
- 1.386 – Markfield, Leicestershire
- 1.374 – Acharacle, Highland
- 1.359 – Tighnabruiach, Argyll & Bute
- 1.323 – Freshwater, Isle of Wight
- 1.316 – Isle of Unst, Shetland Islands
- 1.315 – Isle of Benbecula, Eilean Siar
- 1.313 – Quendale, Shetland Islands
- 1.312 – Gretna, Dumfries & Galloway
- 1.310 – Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway
- 1.306 – Carrbridge, Highland
Most expensive areas for unleaded
The list of the most expensive places for unleaded is dominated by Scottish locations, with Acharacle topping the list at a whopping 1.350 pence per litre, followed by Markfield in Leicestershire and Tighnabruiach at 1.329 pence. Nationally, the top ten most expensive areas to buy unleaded in are:
- 1.350 – Acharacle, Highland
- 1.338 – Markfield, Leicestershire
- 1.329 – Tighnabruiach, Argyll & Bute
- 1.323 – Gretna, Dumfries & Galloway
- 1.314 – Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway
- 1.299 – Freshwater, Isle of Wight
- 1.298 – Lymm, Warrington
- 1.297 – Isle of Benbecula, Eilean Siar
- 1.292 – Isle of Unst, Shetland Islands
- 1.289 – Quendale, Shetland Islands
Why the increase?
One of the factors for the increase in prices in November was the meeting of OPEC, where costs were discussed among the 14 member nations. They agreed to restrict production in a bid to increase prices, following a slump in January 2016. The most recent meeting decided that the group would continue to limit production into 2018.
However, there is some good news for motorists going into December – the pound increasing against the dollar means that experts think there could be a ‘very slight’ decrease in prices over the next week or so. Supermarkets remain the cheapest place to get fuel, so monitor your local station for signs of change using the PetrolPrices app.
Have you noticed the rising cost of fuel in recent weeks? Are you using the PetrolPrices app to ensure that you get the best value out of your vehicle? Share your views in the comments section.