Posts Tagged ‘petrol’
Sales of petrol fell to a record low in March, as drivers abandoned their cars to do other things, like pay energy bills, feed their children and buy scratch cards in the vain hope that they’ll win £2.
Government figures showed that 1.367 billion litres of petrol were bought in March – a fall in demand of 24.7%. The only similar low figure in recent years was 1.376 bn litres last March. Back then, though, you could see the reason – March 2013 was freezing cold with petrol prices at a sky high £1.40 a litre. But this year was warm, with prices at a steady £1.30 a litre.
So what’s causing us to ditch the car? Well, AA boss Edmund King blames our boilers. He said (well, to be honest, he waffled):
‘Either the fear or reality of gas and electricity price surges has triggered an avoid-the-petrol-pump backlash to balance family spending, or the trauma of speculator-driven road fuel price spikes over more than three years has seared into the psyche of the UK driving consumer.’
We may find out in the next couple of months as the boilers and heaters are turned off – and drivers look forward to summer motoring and trips out.’
Ah, yes, summer motoring….with the hood down and a flagon of ginger beer in the picnic hamper.
Marvellous. (Oh, wait, we can’t do that, because the bailiffs repossessed the car. Oops.)
As you may have seen in our Deals Of The Day yesterday, Asda have dropped the price of fuel for motorists and Tesco have followed suit, with both supermarkets reducing pump prices of petrol and diesel by up to 2p a litre. Asda have said that drivers will pay no more than 126.7p a litre for petrol and 133.7p a litre for diesel.
Pete Williams, head of external affairs at the RAC, said: “The supermarkets are helping to brighten up January by knocking 2p a litre off petrol and diesel in reaction to falling wholesale prices.”
The good thing is, is when supermarkets start lowering their prices, everyone else does in response, which means a price drop across the country for everyone. Thanks to prices having gone up rapidly in recent years, these reductions still don’t stop fuel costs sticking in the craw, but at least there’s a small solace in the fact that, if prices fall to within 2p of the supermarker’s, we’ll have the cheapest fuel since February 2011. Depends whether you’re a half full/half empty person.
AA president Edmund King said: “Fuel price reductions at the pumps will bring a sigh of relief to many drivers who are struggling to make ends meet after bigger than normal financial outgoings during the festive period.”
“We hope that other supermarkets and fuel retailers follow the lead of Asda and Tesco to cut their prices at the pumps, otherwise we just end up with a fuel-price lottery based on proximity to certain supermarkets.”
In Britain, it’s more expensive to run a car than anywhere else in the world. Yes, your little Honda Jazz costs more to run than Justin Beiber’s pimp mobile, or Bret Michaels’ souped up RV full of dirty ladies.
On average we pay £3453 a year to stay on the road, which is a grand more than the Americans and the French, and £2000 less than the Chinese, who are scooting about on the cheap and living it up.
Webuyanycar.com took motoring costs from 21 countries and found that we shell out 27p a mile on average – paying more for fuel, tax and insurance. And of course, the thing we’re spending the most on is petrol. A whopping £2256 a year goes on filling the damn thing up.
Only Denmark and Switzerland came close to our prohibitive car costs. But the cheapest place to run a car is Saudi Arabia, where it costs the princely sum of £237.32 a year to own a car. But of course, they do have all the oil. And women aren’t allowed to drive, so that cuts costs for the oppressed ladies straight away.
Do you want a depressing table of costs? Thought so. Happy motoring!
1. UK £3,453.66
2. Netherlands £3,370.42
3. Switzerland £3,321.80
4. Italy £2,966.69
5. Portugal £2,914.63
6. Germany £2,856.04
7. France £2,538.82
8. USA £2,425.36
9. Spain £2,421.87
10. New Zealand £2,387.20
11. Australia £2,128.24
12. Canada £1,828.65
13. India £1,805.94
14. Russia £1,727.82
15. Japan £1,628.38
16. China £1,315.12
17. South Africa £1,280.18
18. UAE 672.01
19. Qatar £527
20. Argentina £269.92
21. Saudi Arabia £237.22
You might be feeling a little down today. After all, inflation is up, wages aren’t, and energy bills are going through the roof yet again. But it’s OK, petrol prices are going down so we’ll all be OK in the end.
It’s true. New figures from the AA say that the fall in petrol prices between mid-September and mid-October was a whopping 5.49p a litre on average, the biggest monthly fall since an 11.5p fall in November 2008. Diesel has fallen 3.38p.
The AA said the price drop has come about as a result of lower wholesale fuel prices, although further falls were unlikely, and they calculated that the cost of filling up the tank of a small petrol car has fallen by £2.74, and the tank of a Ford Mondeo, would cost £3.84 less to refill. What will we all do with all the extra cash.
The cost of petrol varies around the country too, with the most expensive place for petrol being Northern Ireland at an average of 132.9p a litre, with London, the north of England, and Yorkshire and Humberside tying for the cheapest price at 131.9p. Scotland is the most expensive for diesel at 140.1p a litre, while you can get it for just 138.6p in London.
The AA also reports that fuel prices place the UK as seventh most expensive for petrol within Europe, and second most expensive for diesel. They didn’t bother comparing with the US where fuel costs about 1p a gallon.
The AA’s president, Edmund King, said “a more than £2.50-a-tank cut in petrol costs for families is a dramatic improvement.” We think he needs to get out more. Still, as a certain supermarket likes to say, just before dumping tonnes of food, every little helps.
Remember the good old days when there were riots over petrol passing the £1 a litre mark…
The average price of petrol in the UK has risen from 133.35p a litre to 134.61p, while diesel has gone up from 138.17p a litre to 139.16p. Over in Northern Ireland, petrol is the most expensive with London having the cheapest.
The same goes for diesel, with Northern Irish paying 139.8p a litre and London and the south west paying out 139.1p.
The AA warned that this year, retailers have on average been “creaming up to £1 a tank extra off diesel car drivers and up to £1.40 a tank extra off diesel van owners”, adding; “at present, the 1p-a-litre premium that fuel stations are generally adding to the cost of diesel adds 5,500 miles to the break-even point for a new car buyer who chooses diesel instead of petrol.”
“Diesel cars typically cost £1,500 more but the saving from better fuel efficiency should eventually recoup that.”
AA president Edmund King said: “To be fair, there is often much greater variation in the price of diesel among retailers in a town than with petrol. However, on average, the profit margin on diesel is consistently at least a penny higher than with petrol.”
“The clear message to diesel drivers is to take advantage of the greater range of prices locally. Some forecourts are more diesel-friendly than others.”
Not content with charging the earth for a Grab Bag of Quavers and a pine forest Magic Tree, service stations seem to think they can charge what they like for petrol, too.
Prices at the pumps at your average motorway services can be 10p a litre higher than elsewhere, but that’s soon going to change, say the Government.
They want to make them advertise their prices on the road, to create competition between service stations and ‘drive’ prices down. So you will never again be stuck at the South Mimms Welcome Break with tears in your eyes and a petrol bill of £2 million pounds. It happens in France already, so it must be good, right?
Pete Williams from the RAC welcomed the proposal, which is currently being drawn up by the Downing Street Policy Unit.
‘This is welcome news for motorists and commercial drivers but we still need motorway services to be transparent and fair on all their prices. They have held the motorist to ransom for far too long – let’s hope that Number 10 encourages them to sort out their food prices and their parking charges too.’
Encouraging words for anyone who has ever had to extend their mortgage so they can buy a Costa coffee and a tuna melt panini that tastes like fish weetabix.
The price of diesel and unleaded fuel for UK buyers has risen in most European countries compared to last summer, according to a survey by Post Office Travel Money.
This hike has been sharpest in the places that British travellers are most likely to visit, so if you’re getting stung at home, you’ll be getting stung on holiday too. Over in Spain, the price of petrol has shot up by 7.4% in a mere 12 months, while in France, the price has gone up by 4.7%.
Of 17 European countries surveyed, only Croatia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Denmark had cheaper petrol for UK drivers in April 2013 compared to April 2012. If you want a bargain, you’ll have to go to Andorra or Luxembourg. PARTY!
Another reason it’ll be mondo-expensive is that sterling has slumped in value against Euro currencies. So, the price of fuel has gone up AND the exchange rate will give you even less. Diesel has risen in most countries too.
Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The disparity between what motorists pay for diesel and for unleaded petrol in Europe is in marked contrast to the UK, where diesel has long been more expensive. This was just one of the anomalies we picked up in this year’s survey, another being a difference of up 48p a litre in fuel costs across the eurozone.”
“It may not make sense for holidaymakers to plan big detours just to save a few pounds, but the higher price of motoring on the Continent this year means they should plan their routes carefully before setting out so they keep costs down.”
With that, a small price war has ensued with Morrisons first to offer cheaper fuel, taking off 2p per litre. Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco soon got in on the action.
It isn’t all good news though as motoring groups have noticed that fuel prices are still wildly varying from postcode to postcode.
The AA said: “Although the reduction in the price of diesel is very welcome, the question is to what extent this is reflected in rural areas where it is essential for country business and activities.”
“There is traditionally a springtime fall in the cost of diesel as the demand for heating oil, which comes from the same part of the oil barrel, drops off.”
Still, with an improved exchange rate and better wholesale prices, in addition to a rise in fuel duty being cancelled last September, any savings aren’t to be sniffed at. Wholesale petrol prices are also currently falling, which could mean a 1p drop in petrol prices. Not a life changing amount, but definitely better than a kick in the stones.
British drivers have long complained about the high price of fuelling their cars… and with good reason. It costs more than £100 to fill up their tanks, thanks to the prices shooting up by 5.5% in two months.
Unleaded cars are being hit the hardest, with the price increasing by an eye-watering 7.3% a litre, according to analysis by Santander.
So who is being ripped off the most? Well, if you’re unlucky enough to live in Paisley, Durham or Hereford, you’re paying 9% more for unleaded fuel than anywhere else.
In Dumfries, petrol prices are at an average 145.9 a litre, which equates to £100 per average tank. Same goes for Durham, which is bleak news indeed. However, if you live in Torquay, it’ll cost you an average £95.13 for a 70-litre tank. Still expensive, but not as bad as the aforementioned places.
“With the cost of fuel expected to reach its highest level in the coming weeks, families and car commuters are likely to be the hardest hit once again,” said Alan Mathewson, from Santander. “Aside from mortgage costs, households in the UK already spend more on transport than any other living cost, so further hikes may well push many family budgets over the edge. There are a number of small changes people can make to reduce these costs, such as car-pooling with colleagues, driving more economically or using public transport.”
As well as Dumfries and Durham, other rip-off towns include Hereford, Crewe and Oxford. The five least expensive places (so if you live nearby, you might to get on it) to buy fuel are Torquay, Kirkcaldy, Plymouth, Bradford and Wigan.
Britain has gone and signed up to an EU directive which means that fuel suppliers will have to dilute petrol with environmentally-friendly alternatives. All very well, if we want the Earth to live ten or so years more once we’ve all had a blast humping it to a hallow husk.
And so, the oil companies have chosen ethanol (made from corn) which will make up for 10% of a new petrol called E10 and will be launched at the pumps later on in the year.
However, a study is shrieking about it all, saying it’ll add £80 a year extra to the average fuel bill and that it will probably ruin your engine.
The Department for Transport agree that around 8.6million vehicles probably won’t be compatible with this new fuel and of course, there’s a very good chance that stupid drivers will get confused at the taps and start wrecking the inside of their cars.
The study says: “The increased use of ethanol in petrol to meet EU sustainability targets is resulting in drivers paying extra at the pump,” with Rob Bailey (pictured above), the author of the report adding that this fuel was introduced in Germany two years ago, but many drivers don’t use it in case it buggers their engines up and that they are uncertain about the wider “environmental and social impacts of ethanol.”
Shall we all just use loads of fossil fuels and let future generations sort all this out? Whitney Houston said they’d ‘lead the way’, and who are we to argue?
Despite a price rise of 6p in the last few weeks, the pathetic pound will force petrol prices up by a further 3p a litre, the AA said today.
With the average price of petrol in the UK at a carburettor bustin’ 138.32p a litre, this price rise looks set to making driving a car more expensive than wallowing in a bath of blood diamonds with Kim Kardashian.
The AA is urging George Osborne to ditch the rise in petrol duty planned for September from next month’s Budget (which is like asking Scrooge for a Wonga loan.)
AA president Edmund King said: ‘This latest surge in fuel prices and its impact on spending indicates that UK drivers and families can’t take any more.
We’re no longer talking of the motorist as a cash cow for tax and speculator greed, but a horse slowly but surely being flogged to death.’
DON’T MENTION HORSES.
Actually, that’s it! Sell the car and get a horse. They’re cheaper and when it’s dead: burgers.
That might be the song that the Lightning Seeds might be singing along with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel if they were in a recording studio today – especially as the England football team don’t have a match for a few weeks.
The reason? Well, erm, the price of petrol is coming down again on the supermarket forecourts of the land, with Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco cutting the cost of a litre of petrol and diesel by up to 2p per litre from tomorrow.
Asda made the first move this morning by cutting both formats of fuel by 2p a litre, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco later following suit and saying they’ll be cutting their prices by ‘up to 2p per litre’, which doesn’t sound quite as good.
As far as Asda goes, you’ll pay no more than 131.7p per litre for petrol and 137.7p per litre for diesel from them as of tomorrow.
THANK YOU BARACK OBAMA!
There’s a petrol price war breaking out this morning! Okay, so it’s only a small one, but it’s better than, erm, a petrol peace accord (or whatever you call it when prices don’t go down).
Yesterday evening, Asda petrol gurus announced that they will be cutting up to 2p a litre off their prices, with punters paying no more than 133.7p per litre. BUT, diesel users are set to be disappointed, with price of that remaining fixed at 139.7p a litre.
Shortly afterwards, Sainsbury’s and Tesco matched the 2p reduction which also takes effect from today. So there you go… FILL ‘EM UP!
Soon, drivers will see their lives brightened up with dramatic words like ‘slashed’ as Asda and Morrisons go toe-to-toe in a petrol pump price war!
Of course, these price cuts will only serve to offer brief euphoria; a) From the fumes and b) Before everyone remembers that the UK has to pay far too much for fuel already.
Either way, saving is saving. So what is on offer?
Well, Asda will cut up to 3p a litre off the price of both unleaded and diesel and cap prices at 135.7p for unleaded and 139.7p for diesel. Morrisons meanwhile have decided that they’ll reduce prices by up to 3p per litre from this morning as well. It is only a matter of time before the other supermarkets join in.
This comes about after the cost of oil dropped in the past week or so. Normally, British drivers don’t see any savings passed onto them, but as fuel prices is a hot topic, the supermarkets know there’s half decent PR to be gained from this apparent ‘kindness’.
Andy Peake, Asda’s petrol trading director, said: “We always aim to be the first retailer in each part of the country to drop prices when costs are falling and the last to put them up.”
Naturally, the knock-on of cheap supermarket petrol is that there’ll be more shopping going on in the corresponding stores (so keep an eye out for price hikes in the store while the petrol gets cheaper).
The London Olympics was supposed to be some kind of retail saviour, getting us all excited enough to buy things from shops. Instead, we all stayed in and watched telly for the whole of summer.
During London 2012, there was a relaxation of laws surrounding Sunday trading, but alas, it made virtually zero difference, which means the new rules that allowed traders to stay open for longer than the six hours between 10am and 4pm won’t be changing any time soon.
Retailers themselves can’t agree on whether a change in Sunday opening hours would be a good or bad thing. Sainsbury’s and Tesco are against changes, while Philip Green, owner of Top Shop, thinks it would be good to extend opening hours around Christmas.
This debate comes on the back of data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which said: “The impact of the global financial crisis on UK retailers has been severe, long-lasting and continues to be felt.”
And the Olympics didn’t help because people were either watching the events or put off from shopping because of inevitable travel disruptions in the capital. A report also showed the worst figures in half a decade for online shopping too.
With petrol prices and energy bills still rising (and a high possibility of higher food prices), it doesn’t look like confidence in the market is going to return quickly.
In short, we’re doomed.