Prices at petrol pumps tumble again as oil price plummets to six-year low

3rd September 2015


While July had been a good month for motorists, August proved to be even better due to world oil prices reaching their lowest since February 2009.

A new 12-month low of $41.87 for oil over the last week of August helped to drive the average price of petrol down by 4p a litre for the month to 112.42p, according to the latest RAC Fuel Watch data.

Diesel also continued to fall throughout the month with a further 5p being shaved off a litre taking the average cost down to 110.40p, still keeping it below petrol.

This means motorists are now paying £2 less to fill up an average family-sized petrol car than they were at the start of the month and £2.60 less for a diesel car.

The fall in pump prices has been driven by a dramatic reduction in the price of oil. In the run-up to August, oil was at a consistent $60 a barrel, but dipped below $50 a barrel at the start of the month and stayed below $50 for the whole month, reaching a low point of $41.87 on 24 August.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We thought In January we saw oil go down to $45 but then recover to around the $60-a-barrel mark where it stayed for several months until this new level of over-production in August led to a dramatic reduction.

“Diesel drivers have benefitted the most this summer due to a new supply of diesel from Saudi Arabia bringing the wholesale price down. They are now paying £5.60 less to fill up than they were at the beginning of July whereas the savings for petrol motorists have only just kicked in with the drop in the price of oil feeding through into lower wholesale and retail prices.

“The good times at the pump may, however, be coming to an end as OPEC – the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries which produces 40% of the world’s oil – has said it is willing to meet with other oil producers to discuss a ‘fair’ price for oil. The barrel price has already rebounded and is continuing to trade up around $48 so we may not see a low of $41 a barrel again.”

Williams added however that due to the current global oil over-supply situation, pump prices look unlikely to return to the all-time high levels of 142p for petrol and 147p for diesel experienced in April 2012 so the cost of driving should continue to be cheaper for some time to come.

  £ v $ exchange rate Oil – $ per barrel Unleaded wholesale – ppl Unleaded pump – ppl Diesel wholesale – ppl Diesel pump – ppl
Change -15.23 -8.88 -4.33 -7.25 -10.49
% change 1% -24% -8% -4% -6% -9%
Change -0.01 -13.75 -3.13 -6.52 -6.18
% change -1% -22% -3% 2% -6% -5%
Change -0.03 -23.43 -6.76 -9.98 -11.16 -16.55
% change -2% -33% -6% -8% -10% -13%
Change -0.13 -53.08 -19.08 -16.40 -21.06 -22.83
% change -8% -52% -15% -13% -17% -17%

 *Shows 3-month, 6-month and 12-month price and percentage change to 28/08/15


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