UK filling stations are now charging record amounts for diesel, according to new figures from the RAC’s Fuel Watch initiative. The organisation, which keeps tabs on average fuel prices across the country, confirmed petrol prices had hit record levels last month, and now diesel has followed suit.
According to the RAC, diesel prices hit 147.94p a litre on Sunday, October 31, surpassing the previous record of 147.93p per litre set on April 12, 2012. And the news comes after petrol prices broke the previous record of April 2012, and have since rushed on to 144.35p per litre.
The RAC’s latest figures show the average litre of diesel now costs 30p more than it did this time last year, making a full 55-litre tank £16 more expensive. Filling that typical family car tank would now cost £85 on average, as opposed to £65 at the same point last year.
The RAC says the prices have risen in line with oil prices, which have doubled from around $40 a barrel 12 months ago to more than $80 a barrel at the end of October. However, the motoring organisation has also suggested an increase in the price of biofuel is partly to blame. With biodiesel making up around 10 percent of the diesel for sale on forecourts, it contributes around 16p a litre to the cost of the fuel.
“While this isn’t unexpected as petrol has already hit a new record price, it’s still another body blow to drivers and businesses across the country who were already struggling to cope with rising prices,” said RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams. “As well as hitting household budgets this will have a knock-on effect on the price we pay for goods and services as diesel is very much the fuel of business and, as such, will contribute further to inflation.
“While the price of diesel on the forecourt has primarily shot up due the cost of a barrel of oil doubling in the last year from around $40 to more than $80, the price of biodiesel is now two and a half times what it was 12 months ago. This means the biodiesel content in a litre has rocketed from 7p to 16p, while the pure diesel component has doubled from 20p to 40p.
“Unlike petrol where retailers have increased their margin on every litre sold compared to 2012, the profit being taken on diesel is the same as it was nine and a half years ago, so we’re pleased to report this isn’t adversely contributing to the record price at the pumps.”