Fancy a £140 windfall this year? Dropping fuel prices add up to a decent saving
With January always representing a struggle to make the pennies last until the end of the month, news that the falling oil prices could make a recognisable difference is bound to be welcome. Calculations by the RAC Foundation show that drivers could be at least £140 better off this year.
According to the RAC Foundation, based on an average price of £1.17 per litre of petrol and diesel, motorists spent an estimated £2.57bn on fuel last month. This is a £330m total saving compared with last summer when the average price of petrol was around £1.33 per litre. For the average motorist who drives around 8,700 miles a year, and assuming that the price of petrol and diesel remains near its current levels, that saving equates to about £140 per year. This has already been likened to an unexpected tax cut for drivers, although it remains to be seen whether the fuel duty escalator will remain frozen when the Chancellor presents his budget in March- after all, lower prices might not mean lower duty, but it will mean the Government’s tax take in VAT on petrol will be down too.
“The reduction in pump prices might be measured in pennies but the combined savings for drivers add up to billions of pounds,” said Prof Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation. “This is money that will be pumped back into the economy to relieved households rather than disappearing into the pockets of oil producers. Consumers will not just have more money to spend, that money will go further as the goods we buy fall in price as road haulage costs drop.”
Unlike domestic fuel prices, pump price savings have already started to filter through to drivers, with some reports of prices dropping below £1 per litre for the first time since May 2009. Combined with drops in other costs, like grocery shopping owing to price wars between the big supermarkets, 2015 could just be the year we start to feel a bit better off…