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Drivers could pay under £1 a litre for petrol in April

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The collapse in the world oil price has already seen UK pump prices fall by the largest amount in 12-years. But drivers could pay under £1 a litre for petrol this month, according to a motoring group.

The price of a barrel of crude oil fell from $50 at the start of March to $18 by the end of the month – the lowest in 18 years.

This resulted in the whole and retail forecourt prices falling, with drivers paying an average 9p less for unleaded and 8p for diesel, taking prices to 113.54p per litre and 117.8p per litre respectively.

Drivers filling up their tanks are paying around £5 less and as usual, supermarkets sell the cheapest fuel.

But RAC Fuel Watch data suggests there’s a possibility of further price cuts in April. Based on the reductions in the wholesale price of both unleaded and diesel – down 16p and 10.5p respectively last month – there is still scope for forecourts to come down even further.

This means drivers could pay 98p per litre for petrol and 108p for diesel, if retailers pass on the savings they are making to motorists.

RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “February was a pretty extraordinary month for fuel price reductions, but nothing prepared anyone for what would happen in March as the impact of the coronavirus began to be felt. An already-oversupplied oil market was suddenly faced with an enormous shortage in demand as worldwide travel ground to a halt.

“Wholesale fuel prices have slid so far that there remains scope for further price cuts, but we are very mindful at this time of the pressure this can place on smaller, independent forecourts that provide a vital service in areas where there is no supermarket footprint.

“While we all want reasonably priced fuel for our essential journeys, surely none of us want to see smaller enterprises going out of business trying to match the supermarkets’ big price cuts at a time when so few of us are driving compared to normal.”

Williams added that while the impact of coronavirus on travel and oil demand continues, there are early signs that the oil price won’t stay as low as it has been in recent days for very much longer.

“The price war that has been raging between two big oil producing nations, Saudi Arabia and Russia, may be reaching its end if recent statements from the United States are correct – but it is very early days and something we will keep a close eye on.”