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Michael Brown

Acting Editor
Published: 12/01/2023
a person holding a petrol pump

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The AA labelled the drop as “a huge relief for drivers”.

Average petrol prices have dropped below 150p a litre for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, according to the AA.

This comes as oil prices have begun to ease, ending 2022 at their lowest level for the calendar year.

On Monday the average petrol price reached 149.74p per litre, a contrast to the 191.53p per litre cost recorded in July. 

“A 41.8p-a-litre crash in the average pump price of petrol is a huge relief for drivers, cutting £22.99 from the cost of filling the typical car tank,” said Luke Bosdet, Spokesperson at the AA.

Despite the drop in prices, today’s average petrol costs are still high compared to historical data. In addition, with the fuel duty cut to end in March, a future rise could be on the cards.

Currently, average diesel prices sit at 172.2p per litre, a 27p drop from the year high recorded in July.

Why did petrol and diesel peak in July?

As the war in Ukraine intensified, and the cost of oil continued to rise, fuel prices peaked for 2022 in July. This is explained in more detail in our article Petrol prices to hit £2 a litre, warns RAC.

How do prices compare to Europe?

“In Europe prices are also considerably cheaper as the average price of a litre of unleaded is 144p and diesel 152p,” said Simon Williams, Spokesperson at the RAC.

For December, the RAC said average petrol prices in the UK reached 151.06p a litre. Diesel, meanwhile, sat at 173.97p per litre.

“When compared to the 27 EU countries we currently have the second most expensive diesel and the sixth most expensive petrol,” he said.

How much will it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

For drivers with electric vehicles, further research from the RAC found that the cost of using publicly accessible rapid and ultra-rapid chargers rose by 50% since May.

While the average kilowatt now costs 70.3p on a rapid charge, it is still more than twice the cost of charging at home.

“It continues to be the case that those who can charge at home or at work and who don’t use the public rapid charging network very often get fantastic value,” said Williams.

Still, drivers who use rapid chargers effectively pay 20p per mile for their electricity, while petrol drivers typically spend 17p per mile. Diesel vehicle owners achieve the same economy as rapid charge drivers.


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