Average petrol prices in the UK have fallen below 145p per litre for the first time in 18 months, according to new figures from the RAC. The motoring organisation’s Fuel Watch initiative, which monitors prices across the country, shows filling a typical family car with petrol is now almost £26 cheaper than it was last year, when prices were at record highs.

According to the RAC, the UK’s average price of a litre of unleaded dropped to 144.95p on Sunday 14 May – its lowest price since November 3, 2021. That means filling a typical 55-litre fuel tank with petrol now costs an average of just under £80 – down from more than £105 when prices peaked at 191.5p per litre last July.

Diesel prices also fell to their lowest level since February 2022, dropping to 154.31p per litre on Sunday. That means filling a 55-litre tank with diesel now costs less than £85 for the first time in more than a year.

Woman refuelling with nozzle at petrol station

The news comes as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its investigation into petrol pricing has found fuel retailers have increased their profit margins of late. The government asked the organisation to conduct a review of fuel prices amid fears the fuel duty cut was not being passed on to customers.

The CMA has now confirmed that although the majority of price rises are down to “global factors”, fuel retailers have increased their profit margins in recent months – something the CMA says could “reflect some weakening of competition in the road fuel retail market”.

Hand holding fuel pump and refilling car at petrol station

“Seeing the price of unleaded fall back under 145p a litre for the first time in 18 months is good news for the country’s 19m petrol car drivers,” said the RAC’s fuel spokesperson, Simon Williams. “This means it’s now nearly £26 cheaper to fill up a family-sized petrol car this summer compared to last year when a litre hit the record price of 191.5p.

“While it’s good news diesel has also dropped below 155p a litre for this first time since the end of February last year, drivers of the UK’s 12m diesel cars and countless businesses who rely it to fuel their vehicles, should be paying 20p a litre less as its wholesale price is now 4p lower than petrol’s. This is being demonstrated very powerfully by one independent retailer in Shropshire who is currently charging 131.9p – more than 22p below the UK average. We hope this finally embarrasses the country’s biggest retailers to cut their pump prices significantly.”