Sharp Surge in Fuel Prices Marks One of the Largest Monthly Increases in Over Two Decades

( Tue, 5th Sep, 2023) London, UK —

In a blow to motorists, August witnessed one of the most significant monthly spikes in fuel prices in more than twenty years, according to recent data.

The RAC revealed that the average cost of petrol surged by 7 pence per litre in August, making it the fifth most substantial monthly increase in the past 23 years. Diesel prices experienced a hike of 8 pence per litre, ranking as the sixth largest increase within the same timeframe.


These escalating pump prices can be attributed to the rising cost of oil, which has surged by nearly $12 per barrel since the start of July, reaching nearly $87 per barrel. This surge has been propelled by the Opec+ group reducing its oil supply, thereby driving up the wholesale cost of fuel – the price paid by retailers. Consequently, these higher costs have been transferred to drivers at fuel stations.

Earlier this week, data from the fuel index, which categorises regions by postcode, highlighted the areas offering more affordable petrol. These regions include Lancashire, South Wales, and Northern Ireland. Strikingly, the Belfast postcode, which encompasses all of Northern Ireland, currently boasts the cheapest petrol in the country, with an average price of 145.1 pence per litre. Petrol prices in this region are significantly lower than those in any part of mainland Great Britain, with the Torquay postcode securing second place at 146.7 pence per litre.

The top five regions with the lowest petrol prices in the UK are rounded out by Sunderland (146.8p), Bradford (147.0p), and Kilmarnock (147.2p) postcodes.

Conversely, the most expensive areas for petrol in the country are predominantly located in Scottish islands and certain parts of London.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams remarked, “August was a significant jolt for drivers as they had become accustomed to considerably lower prices compared to the record highs of last summer. Witnessing an increase of 6-7 pence per litre at the pump within just a few weeks, adding £4 or more to the cost of a tank, is frustrating, particularly for those who cover extensive mileage or operate older, less fuel-efficient vehicles.”


“While this price hike is undoubtedly unwelcome for drivers, it could have been even more severe if major retailers had not adjusted their inflated profit margins from earlier in the year to align with the rising wholesale fuel expenses.”

Williams added, “All we can do is hope that many major retailers maintaining fairer fuel pricing at the forecourt, even as wholesale costs decrease, remains the trend. Only time will reveal the outcome.”

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