Yes, in all-too-familiar and eerily gloomy news, the price of filling up our cars has increased once more, shooting up a gas-guzzling 4p per litre in January 2021. The average price per litre is now 118.91p at petrol stations up and down the country, while diesel has increased to 122.22 per litre.
But this time, it’s not down to a rise in oil prices. Instead, petrol stations are accused of attempting to boost their profits by inflating the cost at the pump, in a bid to counter the decrease of cars on the road this past year. In fact, the AA are calling it a ‘lockdown bonus’ and that prices are 2p per litre than they should be in typical conditions.
Current fuel prices are now close to pre-pandemic levels – a sharp contrast to the first national lockdown from coronavirus, which saw petrol prices plummet to just over £1 per litre. In May 2020, while everyone adjusted to the new lockdown normal, an oversupply and oil dispute between Russian and Saudi caused prices to plunge and since then, they have slowly been inching back up to their current level.
Ordinarily, the prices we pay at the pumps are dictated by the per-barrel oil price on international markets, but the AA claim this time, it just isn’t the case and instead, it is motivated by greedy petrol stations, keen to make a quick buck from customers who are still on the road and needing to fill up.
Of course, everyone has to do what they can to survive, but for the UKs motorists, many of whom have lost jobs or are currently furloughed on just 80% of their salary, it’s a tough blow. Government statistics show that compared to the week before lockdown, British drivers are taking shorter and fewer journeys, which are leading to a decrease in fuel sales of 62%. This may push more people to consider the switch to an electric vehicle, but as we suggested in last week’s article, that isn’t always the simple answer, when charging points remain few and far between.
Which only goes to show the need for keeping an eye on your car insurance costs (and the mileage you tell them you travel, too). At least there, we have you covered with our free, fast and easy quote checker tool.