UK petrol prices fell in September despite fears that refinery fires in Saudi Arabia would cause costs to soar.
In fact, the cost of a litre of petrol fell by just under a penny last month, making for two consecutive monthly drops, new data shows.
However, the current price of unleaded – 127.95p – is still close to 4p a litre too high and should be cut by retailers, according to RAC Fuel Watch. The only area charging fairer prices, according to RAC, is Northern Ireland, where prices are on average 2p a litre cheaper than the rest of the UK.
Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesman, said: “Currently, the prices drivers pay for fuel in Northern Ireland are on average 2p a litre cheaper than the rest of the UK which means retailers in the rest of the UK are charging more than they should. If they can afford to charge less there, they can afford to elsewhere: this can only mean that drivers in the rest of the UK are being taken advantage of.
“We would very much like to hear retailers’ justification for this price differential. Northern Ireland is more often a cheaper place for petrol and diesel due to greater competition among retailers, but in the last two months we’ve seen this gap widen which can only mean drivers in the rest of the UK are losing out.”
At an average of 127.95p a litre, UK petrol car owners are paying £70.37 to fill up an average 55-litre family car with fuel. To fill up an equivalent diesel costs owners an average of £72.64. In contrast, drivers in Northern Ireland will pay £69.22 and £71.34 respectively.
The leading four supermarkets charged an average of 123.90p and 127.88p per litre for petrol and diesel respectively during September – making filling up at these forecourts 4p cheaper for petrol and diesel compared with the UK average.