The end of July saw yet another rise in the price of fuel, adding to the increasing uncertainty for hauliers and couriers over petrol and diesel prices for the rest of 2018.
Domestic fuel prices have been on the rise since the start of the year, with May seeing some of the highest costs since the start of the millennium. Petrol prices hit an average cost of £1.29.
Having risen another 1p / litre in July, it is now costing drivers around £70 to fill up a family-sized petrol car and approximately £72 for a similar diesel model.
Whilst prices have only marginally risen, July fuel prices have pushed up the rate of inflation for the first time this year, following several months of falling wages growth.
Different parts of the country are feeling the squeeze more than others, with many areas rising to around £1.30 / litre. This is prompting warnings that inflation may remain well above the Bank of England’s 2% target for the rest of the year.
Worst hit are areas of Scotland where diesel saw its greatest hike. The North East remains the cheapest place to buy petrol in the UK.
John Hawksworth, Chief Economist at the consultancy PwC, has said the recent fall of the pound would have a knock-on effect to the cost of imports and add pressure for businesses and consumers.
Hauliers and couriers are amongst the worst affected with the increasing fuel prices adding to the already tight squeeze on profits.
Experts are unsure which way the fuel market will turn due to the uncertain oil prices in the last quarter. At the start of July, a barrel was worth just under $77, before falling to $70 on the fourteenth and eventually bouncing back to $74 as the month drew to a close.
According to RAC spokesperson, Rod Dennis
“the volatility of the price of a barrel of oil, and in turn wholesale fuel prices, makes it difficult to determine where prices might go next… The result is a great deal of uncertainty on what might happen with UK fuel prices in the coming weeks.”
As prices remain uncertain, we advise road users to shop around for fuel, avoiding motorway service stations to fill your tank. Data shows that fuel costs are consistently higher than alternative petrol stations, having on average increased the price of a litre of petrol from £1.19 to £1.46. Diesel remaining unchanged at £1.48.
We also stress the importance of pre-planning your route and optimising your loads before every journey in order to avoid unnecessary costs.
In the meantime, check out our ‘How to pay less for FUEL when DIESEL is costing more’ article on how to optimise your fuel costs.