The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in fuel prices dropping, but where in the UK is it most affordable?

During the coronavirus lockdown the UK has seen fuel prices drop, one of the few positives to come from this tumultuous time.

But where is fuel the cheapest in Britain? Compare The Market has revealed the findings of a new study which shows how affordable fuel is across the country.

The average price of a litre of unleaded fuel in the UK is around £1.07. With the UK's average hourly wage currently standing at £13.27, that means the average person spends roughly eight percent of their hourly income on a litre of petrol.

Petrol

In the North the average unleaded price may be cheaper, at £1.06, but the average wage is also lower at £12.06 per hour. Meanwhile in London fuel is £1.09 on average, but the average hourly wage is also higher at £16.45, making it just 6.62 percent of someone's hourly income.

Diesel is of course still slightly more expensive than petrol, costing £1.12 on average – five pence more than petrol. The cheapest area is Northern Ireland where it costs £1.09 on average, while London and the South East is the highest at £1.14.

Despite its higher price, the higher average wage means that again London emerges as the most affordable region, costing 6.92 percent of average hourly earnings, while the North East is the least affordable at 9.19 percent.

Diesel

"One of many economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic is that the prices of petrol have decreased significantly, thanks to the plummeting prices of oil around the world," said Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at comparethemarket.com. "However the cost of filling up your car, while considered an essential payment for most, is by no means cheap.

"It’s interesting to see how fuel prices vary around the country, with some drivers spending as much as 5p per litre more than others, which, if you’re filling up a 50-litre tank, works out at up to £2.50 more on total petrol spend a time!

"Knowing the expense of fuel in your area can be really useful when making the decision whether to keep an existing car, or invest in a new vehicle.

"With people driving less than ever at the moment, and employment and financial circumstances changing for a large number of people in the UK, many will be reconsidering if they need or can afford a vehicle moving forward. The cost of fuel in your area will be one of many factors that you’ll need to take into consideration when making this decision."