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Petrol and diesel at their most expensive in three years

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The price of petrol and diesel rose by more than 2p a litre in November, taking the cost to their most expensive for three years, according to the RAC.

A litre of unleaded rose 2.35p from 118.43p to 120.78p while diesel edged up 2.22p from 120.96p to 123.18p as a result of oil breaching the $60 a barrel mark.

The RAC Fuel Watch data revealed that the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car with petrol stands at £66.43 – £3.55 more than in July when unleaded was at its cheapest point in 2017 at 114.33p.

For diesel drivers, filling up the family car will set them back £67.75 – £1.22 more than October and £4.50 more than July when diesel was at its lowest level of 2017.

Compared to February 2016, however, when both fuels were an average of 102p a litre, a petrol fill-up is £10 more expensive and the diesel equivalent is £11.65 dearer.

Fuel at supermarkets also rose, the November data showed. Petrol at the big four supermarkets increased by 2.37p a litre from 114.91p to 117.28p, but diesel rose less than it did across all retailers – 1.72p a litre compared to 2.22p – from 117.78p to 119.50p.

Regionally, drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber suffered the largest rise in unleaded pump prices with an average of 2.6p being added to a litre throughout November. This took the price from 118.14p to 120.74. Scotland enjoyed the smallest increase – 1.9p a litre compared to the national average unleaded increase of 2.35p a litre, rising from 118.48p to 120.38p. Northern Ireland once again had the cheapest petrol, finishing the month on 119.74p.

The RAC said pump prices have risen as a result of higher wholesale costs brought about by the increased price of oil. However, they have been kept in check to some extent by the strengthening of the pound. The pound rose 2% from $1.32 at the start of November to $1.35 by the close.

RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams said: “Even though the oil price is now consistently above $60 a barrel, the increased value of sterling against the dollar is helping to keep fuel prices down at the pumps. This is good news for motorists as it means petrol and diesel prices are unlikely to shoot up, in fact we may even see them come down very slightly in the next week or so.

“The price we will pay for fuel at the pump into 2018 very much hinges on how effective OPEC’s production cut continues to be in reducing the global glut of crude oil. The increased barrel price this is designed to create may also work against the group as it makes fracking for oil in the US more financially viable, which in turn may lead to America increasing its production and filling the gap from the cuts. If this happens it should mean forecourt prices won’t go shooting up.”

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