Petrol prices drop for the first time in four months by 3p a litre

Petrol prices drop for the first time in four months by 3p a litre

Petrol prices fell by 3p a litre on average in June, according to data from the RAC.

Stephen Little
Thu, 07/04/2019 – 10:22


There was good news for motorists in June after petrol and diesel prices fell for the first time in four months.

Petrol prices fell by 3p a litre on average in June, while diesel prices dropped by an average of 4.6p, according to data from the RAC.

This took the average price of unleaded petrol down to 127.62p and diesel to 130.9p – the ninth biggest fall in the price of a litre of diesel since 2000.

This price drop means the average cost of filling up a 55-litre family car fell by £1.68p to £70.19 by the end of June. The saving on a tank of diesel was greater at £2.54, down to £72.

Despite the fall in the wholesale price of petrol, retailers are failing to pass on the cuts to motorists.

The RAC says petrol prices are still 4p more expensive than in March when wholesale prices were at a similar level.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says: “It’s great to see pump prices falling for the first time since January, but the reductions should have been greater based on the substantial decrease in the wholesale price.

“Retailers were clearly banking on the oil price rebounding after its sudden drop which began at the end of May when a barrel was over $70. Inevitably this has meant bad news for drivers who have lost out with pump prices being 4p a litre more expensive than they should have been.

“Unfortunately, retailers’ hunch that oil would quickly increase again were right and now their prices are broadly where they should be based on the current wholesale price. They just happen to have made significant profits as a result of not passing on more of the savings to drivers than they did.”

The average price charged at the four big supermarkets was 126.98p in June, down from 133p a litre in May. However, the cut in petrol was below the UK average at 2.67p, with a litre costing 124.08p by the end of June.

The intense competition between supermarkets means they often offer lower fuel prices in the hope that motorists will also do their weekly shop when they go to fill up.

At the end of June Asda had the lowest priced petrol 123.25p a litre, slightly ahead of Tesco with an average of 123.65p. Asda also had the cheapest diesel at 124.70p with its next nearest competitor more than 2p a litre more expensive.

Mr Williams adds: “Drivers should take heart from the fact fuel prices have gone down in June, but it’s hard to see another drop materialising with OPEC and its partners extending their production cut until March 2020.

“On top of that there is also talk of a trade deal being struck between the United States and China allaying fears of a global economic slowdown which may have led to lower oil prices and in turn cheaper prices at the pump.

“If we get through July without petrol and diesel going up it will be a good result for drivers at the start of the summer holidays.”

Don’t fill up on the motorway

Some motorway service stations are charging nearly 40p per litre of fuel more than their nearest station, according to a recent study by

The research found that Leicester Forest East services on the M1 is charging 37p per litre more for a litre of diesel than nearby station Sainsbury’s Fosse Park which is only 2.1 miles away.

It is a similar story for petrol, with Bridgewater services on the M5 in Somerset charging up to 29p per litre more than Sainsburys Bridgewater, which is only 2.5 miles away.

Other expensive motorway service stations include Tamworth Services on the M5 which is charging 27p more for a litre of petrol than the nearby Centurion Service Station.

Motorway service areas have long been much higher priced because operators know that motorists have to fill up there.

Kitty Bates, consumer spokesperson at, says: “Their argument is the costs are higher, which is something the government has been saying that it wants to investigate for quite a few years now.

“However, until this takes place, we would encourage drivers to find the best fuel deal local to them.”

Shopping around

If you fill up at a motorway service station you could end up paying through the nose, so it is a good idea to shop around for the best price.

To save wasting fuel hunting down the cheapest forecourts you enter your postcode at to find the cheapest price.

However, be careful that driving a long way to get the best price doesn’t cancel out your savings.

According to price comparison site, motorists travelling more than two miles to buy cheap fuel could be throwing away almost £528 million every month by doing this.

It usually takes a few days to filter through to the forecourts when the oil price goes up, so make sure you fill up instantly when the oil price rises.

Regional fuel prices

Those living in the Scotland saw the largest monthly price fall in the UK with a drop of 3.88p, taking a litre down to 126.98p. The smallest fall was in the North West, with prices dropping by 2.40p to £127.75.

The South East had the dearest petrol at 128.49p. Northern Ireland was the cheapest throughout June, finishing the month with an average price of 125.78p.

Average UK petrol prices in June
Unleaded 03/06/2019 30/06/2019 Change
UK average 130.67 127.62 -3.05
Scotland 130.86 126.98 -3.88
North East 130.05 126.73 -3.32
Wales 129.80 126.48 -3.32
East 131.01 127.70 -3.31
London 131.32 128.11 -3.21
South West 130.71 127.52 -3.19
Northern Ireland 128.92 125.78 -3.14
Yorkshire and the Humber 130.04 126.92 -3.12
East Midlands 130.64 127.60 -3.04
South East 131.51 128.49 -3.02
West Midlands 130.41 127.68 -2.73
North West 130.15 127.75 -2.40

Source: RAC, June 2019

Scotland also saw the biggest fall in the price of diesel with a litre dropping over 5p to 130.23. The most expensive diesel was in the South East at 131.90, while the cheapest was in Northern Ireland at 128.16.

Average UK diesel prices in June      
Diesel 03/06/2019 30/06/2019 Change
UK average 135.51 130.90 -4.61
Scotland 135.61 130.23 -5.38
North East 134.49 129.36 -5.13
Wales 134.96 130.25 -4.71
East Midlands 135.81 131.11 -4.70
North West 135.29 130.65 -4.64
East 136.40 131.84 -4.56
South East 136.45 131.90 -4.55
South West 135.65 131.15 -4.50
London 135.64 131.17 -4.47
Yorkshire And The Humber 134.74 130.30 -4.44
Northern Ireland 132.56 128.16 -4.40
West Midlands 135.38 131.12 -4.26

Source: RAC, June 2019