What makes up the price of fuel?

What makes up the price of fuel?

Unleaded is produced from crude oil, and as global crude oil prices fluctuate, this impacts the pump price. However, the unleaded product’s cost only makes up 36% of the price you pay at the pump. So, where do the extra costs come from?

What makes up the price of petrol and diesel?

Maybe unsurprisingly, it’s tax. The majority of the pump price is made up from two taxes. Fuel duty, which is currently set at 52.75 pence per litre (ppl) for unleaded petrol and diesel, and VAT, which is set at 20%. Fuel duty was reduced from 57.95ppl to its current value in March 2022, and this change was intended to reduce the cost of fuel to support households and businesses at a time of very high oil prices. Motorists also pay 20% VAT on top of the total cost of the fuel, including the fuel duty, which means that the 52.75ppl fuel duty is actually 63.3ppl at the pump. Over 54% of the price of unleaded and over 52% of the diesel cost at the pump is tax.

The unleaded that you put in your vehicle is a blend of crude oil derived fuel and ethanol, and in diesel, biodiesel is blended at up to 7%. The renewable part of the fuels makes up around 2% of the total cost.

There is also a cost to move the fuel from the refinery and terminals around the UK into the petrol stations. This is typically less than 1% of the total cost of fuel.

The remaining cost is the retailer’s margin, which is usually around 5-7% of the total cost of fuel.

Petrol and Diesel Pricing Trends in October

Petrol and Diesel Pricing Trends in October

Back in March 2023, diesel prices were over 20 pence per litre (ppl) more than unleaded. Prices for diesel fell sharply in May. This was just before the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) released its findings following an investigation into the retail fuel market.

In June and July, pump prices for diesel were around 2ppl more than that of unleaded. However, since the summer, the pump price of both diesel and unleaded has risen. September started with diesel being priced on average 3ppl over unleaded, and it finished at over six pence higher.

October has seen some slight price drops in unleaded, but diesel has been slower to decline, leading to it being sold at a premium of seven pence over unleaded.

Wholesale diesel prices have been trading over ten pence higher than unleaded during October and even as high as 15 pence. In part, this is the result of fuel supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and Russia, in particular diesel, into the European markets. The UK uses more diesel than it produces and so is reliant on imports. Whereas the UK produces more unleaded and so unleaded is less affected by these cuts.

Diesel margins appear to have increased a couple of pence since October but remain lower than at the start of the year. Unleaded margins, however, do appear higher than at any point earlier in the year.

As part of the CMA’s investigation into the fuel retail market, Asda was fined for “failing to provide relevant information in a timely manner.” In a later meeting with MPs, Asda confirmed their strategy was to be the most competitive supermarket. However, over the last three weeks, Asda has lost its competitive edge. Sainsbury’s is now the supermarket with the lowest priced unleaded.

Prices can vary significantly by region, with motorists in Greater London and Cheshire among those who can expect to pay the most. While drivers in Angus and Aberdeen can expect to pay the least.

The start of October saw a drop in crude oil prices, which in turn helped reduce the wholesale cost of diesel and unleaded. On 5th October, Brent Crude Oil dropped to $84 a barrel, but this has since risen back to $90. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this lead to rises in diesel prices at the pump once more.

More than 6 million Brits admit to accepting a bad deal when selling their car

More than 6 million Brits admit to accepting a bad deal when selling their car

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A study by Motorway, the used-car marketplace, reveals that 6.3 million Brits have accepted a bad deal when selling their car. Those accepting bad deals did so out of convenience, ultimately losing them money from the sale. What’s more, 3.5 million Brits regretted selling their car because the sale was poorly researched and did not achieve the best price possible.

Ease and convenience are often a key driver for any sale, with many car owners going directly to an instant buyer or their local dealer, or they’ll make a quick private sale transaction on a classified site. 7.8m Brits reveal they only go to one dealer when it’s time to sell, accepting one person’s opinion valuation and sale price.

Once on the forecourt, car owners often accept the first offer, with more than a third (37%) confirming they are intimidated by the haggling process altogether, putting them off getting the best price for their vehicle. More than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed said they lacked the negotiating skills to get the best price, whilst 23% revealed social anxieties were the reason they did not attempt to negotiate a higher figure.

Surprisingly, 41% of car owners don’t know how much their car is worth, which makes negotiating the best price nearly impossible.

Alex Buttle, Co-Founder of Motorway, which commissioned the research, said: “Selling your vehicle can be daunting for many, particularly if you don’t feel confident or knowledgeable about cars, but there is an easy and simple way to sell your car online. At Motorway, our dealer network matches each seller with the dealer willing to pay the most, in as little as 24 hours, for free. And with free home collection and fast payment, we take all the hassle out of selling for a great price.”

For an instant free car valuation, visit Motorway.co.uk.

Data Shows Nearly Half of Speed Cameras are Not Working

Data Shows Nearly Half of Speed Cameras are Not Working

New data has revealed that almost half of speed cameras across England and Wales are not in operation. The road safety technology company Road Angel made a freedom of information (FOI) request to analyse how many fixed-speed cameras are inactive in each region of England and Wales. The FOI request revealed that 46% of fixed-speed cameras in the areas that responded are not working. Not all of the police forces in England and Wales responded to the request.

Whilst there are only eight speed cameras in Northamptonshire, the request showed that all eight were inactive. Gwent in southeast Wales only had one active speed camera out of the 31 in the region. Six of the 13 police forces who responded to the FOI request had over half of their speed cameras standing inactive.

Derbyshire has more speed cameras out of action than any other region, with only 20 of the 113 across the county capable of catching speeding motorists. Derbyshire (113), Essex (110) and Devon & Cornwall (110) are the regions across England with the most speed cameras – each having at least 40% incapable of catching speeding drivers.

New data has revealed that almost half of speed cameras across England and Wales are not in operation

Whilst there are only eight speed cameras in Northamptonshire, the request showed that all eight were inactive. Gwent in southeast Wales only had one active speed camera out of the 31 in the region. Six of the 13 police forces who responded to the FOI request had over half of their speed cameras standing inactive.

Derbyshire has more speed cameras out of action than any other region, with only 20 of the 113 across the county capable of catching speeding motorists. Derbyshire (113), Essex (110) and Devon & Cornwall (110) are the regions across England with the most speed cameras – each having at least 40% incapable of catching speeding drivers.

Only two areas had all speed cameras working – Dyfed-Powys in Wales, and Suffolk, but these have just four devices each. The West Midlands had only 5% of their speed cameras standing inactive, with 62 out of 65 devices in operation.

Road safety experts are urging UK police forces, councils and the government to ensure speed cameras are fully operational to catch speeding motorists.

Gary Digva, founder of Road Angel, said: “It’s shocking to see how many speed cameras across the country are standing inactive and are letting speeding motorists get away with driving dangerously.

“We are urging local authorities and police forces to ensure speed cameras are fully working to catch speeding motorists who may be driving recklessly by breaking the limit. This in turn will help to reduce the number of dangerous drivers and help to keep our roads safer for everyone.

“As it stands, speeding on the road is a contributing factor for 25% of fatalities – and motorists who break the legal limit need to be penalised so they further recognise the importance of sticking to the speed limits. However, with such high numbers of inactive devices, thousands of drivers are getting away with speeding every day. The UK police force, councils and the government must take action on making sure these fixed speed cameras are fully operational.”

Petrol prices up for the ninth week in a row

Petrol prices up for the ninth week in a row

The average price of unleaded at the forecourt in the UK has risen for the ninth consecutive week. Prices have tracked upwards since the end of July and now average over 156 pence per litre (ppl), an increase of 8% since July.

Diesel prices have also been rising at the pump, with the average price now near 162ppl, up from the July low of a little over 145ppl, an increase of 11.7%.

Costco remains the UK’s cheapest brand for its members, while Asda and Sainsbury’s provide the lowest-priced unleaded and diesel without needing a membership.

Both Asda and Sainsbury’s are also the most consistent across the country, meaning that no matter where you live, they are likely to be among the best prices in your area. In contrast, Texaco prices have the greatest variance and may be hit or miss depending on your location.

The average petrol price at the forecourt in the UK has risen for the ninth consecutive week

An increase in crude oil costs has driven increases at the pump. In June, Brent Crude oil traded at $72/barrel, increasing to over $90/barrel this month. It did peak at $96.50 at the end of September before dropping back, but this is likely to have little impact on the increase in price at the pump. At the same time, the Pound has also been dropping in value. In July, the exchange rate was a little below $1.30 to the GBP, and now it is just over $1.20. Both these factors have pushed unleaded and diesel prices higher.

OPEC+ (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) recommended this week to keep the ongoing production cuts, one of the main drivers for the increase in wholesale costs. These are reviewed monthly but are due to be in place until the end of the year.

Oil prices have dropped this week on concerns about the health of the global economy and rising interest rates. Longer term the production cuts may well be bad news for motorists and may lead to further price increases at the pump.

However, price increases and a strengthening US dollar will hurt global oil demand and help stabilise prices. Regional and local factors will also affect the prices, and where and when you fill up can help you save money. The PetrolPrices app, now with daily pricing feeds from the largest fuel retailers, can help you save money on unleaded petrol and diesel. Helping others by updating prices or confirming correct ones helps to keep the retailers competitive.

Decrease in the Number of People wanting to buy an EV according to Which?

Decrease in the Number of People wanting to buy an EV according to Which?

According to Which?’s Annual Sustainability Report 2023 published this month, the number of people considering an electric car has reduced over the past two years because of the perceived barriers of cost and charging infrastructure. The report was based on the findings of a poll of 2,067 adults by Yonder Consulting on behalf of  Which? Magazine. The report compared the 2023 findings with previous surveys in 2021 and 2022.

The 2023 survey found that only 46 per cent of those polled would consider buying an electric vehicle in the future, down from 64 per cent in 2021. The proportion who intend their next vehicle to be electric has fallen to 8 per cent from 11 per cent two years ago.

The survey was carried out in June 2023 before Rishi Sunak postponed the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales. The prime minister said last week that the delay to 2035 was because costs were too high and time was needed to improve the charging infrastructure.

Decrease in the Number of People wanting to buy an EV according to Which?

The Which? Survey suggests that those concerns over cost and inadequate charging infrastructure are widely shared. On barriers to buying an electric car, 63 per cent cited the expense, while 51 per cent pointed to the availability of public charging points. Interestingly 50 per cent also cited the cost of installing a charge point at home as a barrier to purchase.

Higher-earning households are more likely to consider buying an EV as their next vehicle than lower-income households, yet cost remains a barrier for all groups. For household incomes of £55,000 and above, 17 per cent considered buying an EV next, falling to 7 per cent for households earning £28,000 and below.

Younger people favoured EVs, with 15 per cent of 18-34-year-olds intending that their next car would be electric, a figure that fell to as low as 2 per cent for over-65s. However, the survey found that 82 per cent acknowledged their role in reducing their environmental footprint, a figure that has climbed from 77 per cent two years ago.

“It’s clear consumers want to play their part in helping tackle climate change, but our research has found that lack of awareness, reliable information and the cost of some green technologies is holding them back from leading more sustainable lives,” Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said.

The general conclusion of the Which? Report was that the general reluctance to buy an EV stems from concerns around pricing with high purchase/lease costs and the expenses related to setting up home charging points putting people off. Additionally, half of people express scepticism that there are enough public charging points available to keep their future EV running.

The full report can be found here.

Motorway’s Car Value Tracker is the ultimate tool for car owners

Motorway’s Car Value Tracker is the ultimate tool for car owners

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With tools and apps available such as Zoopla to track the value of a property and Monzo to track finances, it’s now easier than ever to manage the value of the items you own. Despite this, 41% of car owners say they don’t know how much their car is worth.

Car values are changing all the time. So whether you’re a proper petrol-head, or just need a decent set of wheels to get from A to B, chances are you’re not sure if your car is going up or down in value. This presents a problem when you’re ready to sell your car: how do you know it’s actually a good time to sell and get your best price?

Most people choose to sell their car before they’ve checked what it’s worth. But that doesn’t get you the best price for one of your most valuable assets. Motorway’s created the answer with its Car Value Tracker, a free online tool to see monthly price movements and track the ongoing value of up to six vehicles at once.

Motorway is the UK’s fastest-growing used-car marketplace, connecting people selling their car directly with their network of more than 5,000 verified car dealers, matching each seller on their platform with the dealer who most wants to buy their car. Motorway helps car owners sell their cars 100% online for a great price in as little as 24 hours, with their car collected from home for free.

Car Value Tracker is Motorway’s latest product innovation, which is free to use on motorway.co.uk. The interactive tool displays your vehicle’s value over time, with up to 24 months of historic pricing plotted on the graph. This allows you to see how your car’s value is changing, whether that means depreciating, holding value, or even rising in price. Check your car’s value at any point, or sign up for monthly value alerts over email.

What’s causing car value to change?

Car values don’t follow a predictable trend. All cars depreciate at varying rates, dropping value slower or quicker from year to year as demand shifts. And it’s not just about depreciation. In fact, due to the pandemic and a lack of new car supply, many popular models actually went up in price year-on-year in 2021. It’s therefore almost impossible to predict the factors that will impact your car’s value every year, although some (mileage, condition, availability of new cars) are much more obvious. It’s useful to understand what impacts your car’s value, but even more important to visualise how that price changes over time, from month to month.

Car Value Tracker is a first-of-its-kind product, using advanced data science techniques to leverage historic data from thousands of similar cars that have sold through the Motorway platform, and hundreds of thousands of bids from dealers, to model each individual car’s valuation history. Car owners will be presented with an interactive graph showing their car’s value today and how it has depreciated – or appreciated – over the previous 24 months. If the car owner has valued their vehicle on Motorway in the past, those valuations are also included on the graph.

To use Car Value Tracker, all you have to input is your reg and mileage for a live valuation when you’re logged into your free Motorway account. Your interactive map will display your latest valuation, and a plotted graph with historical valuations, as well as your overall two-year change (e.g. -2.23%). You can turn on or off monthly alerts reminding you to confirm your mileage for an updated valuation.

When you scroll past your interactive graph, you’ll see similar vehicles to yours that recently sold on Motorway, with the prices they fetched. In addition, the dynamic Car Value Tracker webpage shows whether or not your vehicle is compliant with the UK’s Clean Air Zones such as ULEZ in Greater London. Motorway even shares the number of dealer bids across the last month it based your current valuation on, for total transparency and trust in the numbers.

You’ll see similar vehicles to yours that recently sold on Motorway

What if my car is on finance?

The perfect time to sell a car or van with outstanding finance is when the vehicle’s valuation is higher than your remaining balance to pay, normally at least three or four years into contract. This is called being in positive equity. At this point, you can sell your car to a verified dealer with Motorway, who will clear the outstanding balance and pay you the surplus.

By following the dynamic valuation of your financed vehicle on Car Value Tracker, and monitoring your finance payments too, you really can choose the perfect time to sell. This product release from Motorway has changed the way people think about their car as a financial asset, for good.

To track the value of your car, visit


PetrolPrices incorporates new fuel price data

PetrolPrices incorporates new fuel price data

PetrolPrices is pleased to announce that we have incorporated a new data source for our market-leading fuel pricing service. Following the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) July report on the Road Fuel Market, a new voluntary scheme for fuel retailers to share daily pricing data was set up at the end of August.

PetrolPrices now has over 3,800 petrol stations from the CMA data providing daily price information for unleaded, diesel, super unleaded and premium diesel. The CMA data is in addition to our other supplier, transactional, and user-sourced data. Combined, we offer the best source of publicly available fuel pricing data for UK motorists – all via our free mobile app.

This all comes at a time when prices are rising, and after a small drop during August, crude oil prices are now at a year-high of over $93 a barrel. This increase has already seen the average unleaded prices move through the £1.50 per litre mark, with most regions paying £1.53-£.156 per litre on average. Diesel prices are also up, and motorists can expect to pay £1.57-£1.60 per litre. London and the southeast remain the most expensive areas to fill up in the UK.

This new pricing scheme is currently only voluntary, and as such, not all forecourts are included. However, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Applegreen have all opted in. MFG and Rontec, two of the largest site operators who run sites with a number of different fuel brands, have also opted into the scheme. 

Fuel finder. Where can I find the cheapest petrol price today?

The CMA has said they “recognise the interim scheme is limited and there will sometimes be a delay between the setting of prices, the publication of price data, and the prices being available in third-party apps.”

And they advise that “Customers should always check the price displayed at the forecourt before purchasing road fuel.”

PetrolPrices will continue to work with the relevant governing bodies looking into the UK fuel market to help ensure the pricing data is as comprehensive as possible.

The CMA voluntary scheme prices can be identified in the PetrolPrices app as being those sourced from the Site Owner. We continue to value the input of prices from our users, both as a means of confirming prices and updating prices from those locations not participating in the voluntary scheme.

161 Car models are too big for parking spaces

161 Car models are too big for parking spaces

Cars are becoming too large to park

According to research by the Which? team, parking in the UK is becoming more of a challenge. The size of a standard UK parking space has stayed more or less the same for decades, but cars, especially luxury ones, have got bigger and bigger.

The number of models too big for standard parking spaces has increased by 25 per cent over the past five years, with luxury models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover among the trickiest to park. Which? found that 161 models were now longer than the standard space, which measures 4.8m by 2.4m. A dozen of these exceed the limit by more than 30cm. In 2018, only 129 models were too long.

Width is also a problem, with 27 models too wide to comfortably open their doors in a standard space, defined by Which? as cars giving passengers less than 22cm leeway each side when parked perfectly.

Which cars are the longest?

Which? highlighted three of the worst offenders below. These cars are 13.7 inches (35cm) or longer than the average length of a parking space, with the longest of the bunch – the BMW i7 – topping the charts at more than half a metre bigger.

Audi 8 – 37.2cm too long (the newest  version is 5.18 metres long in total)

Mercedes Benz S-Class Hybrid – 46cm too long (it is 5.25 metres long)

BMW i7 – 59.1cm too long (the newest version is close to 5.4 metres long)

Not only does this risk expensive scratches from other cars, it will also make navigating many UK car parks challenging, as they weren’t designed for cars this long. 


Which drivers are messiest?

Which cars are too wide?

Which? did not find any cars wider than the average parking space. But they can be too wide to comfortably open the doors. The research highlighted three of the widest cars using the width measurements for the car’s body width only:

Land Rover Discovery,  with the body width measuring 2.073 metres, providing a slim 16.35cm space each side to open doors

Jaguar I-Pace, the all-electric vehicle, measures 2.011 metres, giving you 19.45cm each side to get out.

The BMW X5 is 2.004 metres across, leaving 19.8cm leeway each side in a parking bay.

Natalie Hitchins, the home products and services editor of Which?, said, “Cars are getting larger and larger, and while this might mean a more comfortable driving experience, it could be a problem when it comes to squeezing into a parking space. While some car parks are introducing wider bays it won’t be the case everywhere, and some drivers might struggle getting parked up in certain locations.”

The British Parking Association says multi-storeys are not easily adaptable because rebuilding is too costly. A spokesman added: “A good car park will have the right balance of capacity and efficiency, as cramming in lots of small bays is obviously counter-productive.”

Will unleaded petrol and diesel prices stop rising?

Will unleaded petrol and diesel prices stop rising?

Unleaded prices have been rising since the last week in July and are now starting to touch £1.50 per litre. Over the past 30 days, prices at the pump have increased by nearly 5%.

The premium brands (bp, Shell and Esso) are all averaging prices over £1.50 per litre for unleaded, while the supermarkets, Asda and Sainsbury’s, are around £1.45.

Diesel prices have also been rising and are up over 5.5% over the last 30 days, and as with unleaded, Asda and Sainsburys are 5 pence below the premium brands.

Prices vary significantly by region, with Greater London, Bournemouth and Yorkshire having some of the highest prices in the UK.

Costco members will enjoy the lowest prices across the UK, with prices over 10ppl lower than the premium brands, despite their prices increasing more than 7% over the last 30 days (bp has risen by 6%, Shell 5%.)

The cost of Brent Crude Oil, the product from which unleaded and diesel is produced, increased throughout July, and this has been a major factor in the increase in unleaded and diesel prices at the pump. Brent Crude peaked at just under $87 on 11th August before dropping back to a little over $83. This is still higher than the $72-77 it was back in June. The result of this is higher prices for UK motorists.


will petrol prices stop rising?

There is usually a delay between crude price shifts and pump price changes, which can vary between locations. However, it is possible that price increases could start to slow down in the near future, and some prices may even start to decrease. This is, however, dependent on what wholesale prices do next.

As the cost of unleaded petrol and diesel changes, this usually results in more significant retail price differences between petrol stations. This is partly caused by stations receiving fuel deliveries on different days and purchasing on differing pricing mechanisms. Drivers in Blackpool and Aberdeen currently see the greatest pricing variance between petrol stations and will benefit most from shopping around.

Are you seeing prices above £1.50 for unleaded, or have you seen any price drops in your area? Let us know in the comments below.