Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Motorists see petrol prices drive up by 8p since start of year

Motorists see petrol prices drive up by 8p since start of year
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Petrol prices rose by 1.6p this week to mark a total 8p rise since the start of the year, market data reveals.

The average price for a litre of petrol is 148.5ppl (pence per litre), the highest it’s been at the pump since November 2023, Government data finds.

This signifies a 2.6p hike on this time last year, while diesel was 4.7p less than in April 2023.

However, motorists who own a diesel vehicle also saw prices increase to their highest level for five months. After a 1.2p weekly rise, diesel now costs 157.5ppl to fill up.

Before the middle of January, petrol prices were in reverse and, in the three months prior, dropped from 157ppl to 140ppl.

Meanwhile, rising petrol prices are firmly on the radar of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The watchdog confirmed last month that “it is concerned by high margins, which indicate weakened competition.”

This came as part of its report on supermarkets like Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda that showed they recorded margins of up to 7.8%, leading to record profits for the retailers.

Following the biggest monthly rise in petrol prices since August 2023, Simon Williams, RAC fuel price spokesperson, thinks this year is going to be “tough” for families, with it costing around £5 more to fill up a family car than it did at the start of the year.

Pricey petrol prices are ‘bad for households’

Williams said: “Both petrol and diesel are now the most expensive they’ve been since November last year, which is bad for households, businesses and the economy, especially as we know there is a close link between fuel prices and inflation.”

The hefty prices are due to the increasingly high cost of oil – which stands at more than $80 per barrel. This has occurred due to a mix of UK stockpiling decisions and overseas conflicts.

Williams added: “With increased tensions in the Middle East, the cost of oil is only likely to go up, which could push petrol well above 150p a litre. While diesel is getting close to 160p, this is purely down to retailers taking much bigger margins, as there’s only been a few pence between the wholesale prices of both fuels since mid-March.

“We find it hard to believe that a margin of 13p a litre on diesel – compared to the long-term average of 8p – is fair. This surely won’t go unnoticed by the Competition and Markets Authority, which, only two weeks ago, expressed its concern about higher retailer margins.”