Motorists are being hit by a fresh rise in fuel prices as the cost of petrol and diesel rises for the fourth month in a row – and further rises are expected to come before the end of the year, causing more suffering for motorists.
The average pump price in the UK rose by almost 5p per liter in September, rising from 152.49p to 157.01p.
This is the 13th biggest monthly price rise in the last 23 years and comes on top of the 7p rise recorded in August, the RAC said.
Diesel rose by more than 8p a liter from 154.78p at the start of September to 163.11p at the end of September – the fifth biggest monthly rise on record since 2000.
The RAC has accused fuel retailers of pocketing rising profit margins on petrol and warned motorists they can expect rising costs at petrol stations in the coming months
The car group warned today that there will be “no respite” from rising prices in the coming months, no matter what fuel drivers use, and accused retailers of reaping higher profits from unleaded fuel, although recently an investigation by the regulatory authority in the fuel sector has taken place.
But the Petrol Retailers Association hit back at the RAC’s suggestion this morning, saying it was “disappointing to read such sensational claims”.
According to the RAC’s monthly fuel price update, filling a typical 55-litre fuel tank on a family petrol car will now cost motorists an average of £86 – the highest price since 2023 and above levels last seen in December.
Anyone driving an equivalent diesel car could spend almost £90 each time they visit a petrol station.
That’s £4 more expensive than in August and the highest price since April this year.
Recent global oil production cuts caused the cost of a barrel to rise from $89 to around $96 in September, which, combined with the weaker value of sterling against the dollar, means wholesale fuel prices for British sellers are rising.
However, the RAC believes retailers are still not dealing fairly with the country’s motorists – particularly those who own and operate petrol vehicles.
“Regrettably, motorists are starting to suffer again at the pumps with a further 8p per liter added to the average price of diesel in September, which follows closely on the heels of a similar increase in August,” RAC fuel prices spokesman Simon Williams said.
“Petrol prices have also risen by 11p since the start of August, so there is little respite no matter what fuel drivers use.”
“Our analysis of RAC Fuel Watch wholesale and retail data shows that petrol is currently overpriced by around 7p per liter, although the price of diesel is likely to rise further in the coming weeks.”
A rise in petrol prices of almost 5p a liter in September is the 13th largest monthly increase on record since 2023. With a diesel rise of more than 8p a liter, this is the fifth largest monthly increase since 2000
Williams says the return of retailers increasing their margins is “concerning” given the recent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation, which slapped the big four supermarkets on the wrist after finding they were giving drivers in the Last year they overcharged £900 million for fuel.
“While many [retailers] “Although we voluntarily started publishing their prices before we were legally required to do so, we still have a situation where changes in wholesale prices are not adequately reflected on the forecourt,” he said.
“In the last two weeks, wholesale prices for diesel have become 10p per liter more expensive than petrol, but the difference at the pumps is just 5p.”
If retailers overall were fair to drivers, petrol would be at least 7p cheaper than it is now, from the current average of 157p to around 150p.
As oil prices near $100 a barrel, motorists may fear a repeat of last year’s record-high pump prices.
Today’s petrol price remains around 34.5pa liters below the all-time record of 191.5p set in July 2022, while diesel is almost 37p below the record price of 199.1p also recorded last summer.
“Retailers don’t cheat drivers,” says PRA
This morning fuel retailers hit back at the RAC’s proposal to increase their prices to exploit drivers.
“Contrary to the RAC’s claims, our members are not unjustifiably charging higher petrol prices than necessary,” said Gordon Balmer, chief executive of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) – which represents independent petrol stations, which make up almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of UK petrol stations .
“Fuel margins have been under pressure due to the increased operating costs that our members have had to bear.
“In order to counteract rising labor costs and energy costs as well as the highest inflation rates in recent years and lower fuel sales, margins have inevitably increased.”
He added: “Attempting to stoke public anger by suggesting otherwise is deeply irresponsible.”
“It is disappointing to read such sensational claims about fuel margins in the media.”
“I have repeatedly reached out to commenters in an attempt to have a rational discussion on this topic.” Unfortunately, my queries appear to have gone unanswered.
“The PRA continues to advocate for our members and promote transparency within the sector.”
“We stand ready to work with any mediator to facilitate constructive and informed dialogue on these critical issues.”
A survey of 2,000 motorists has found that rising fuel prices are the biggest concern for UK motorists over the next 12 months
Rising fuel prices are the biggest financial concern for drivers, according to a new survey
A new survey of 2,000 drivers by Close Brothers Motor Finance found that rising fuel prices are the biggest concern for motorists over the next 12 months. 51 percent of those surveyed called this a major financial challenge.
More worrying are the rising car insurance premiums (34 per cent), the cost of buying a new car (22 per cent) and the increase in car tax (19 per cent) – and even more so than the expansion and introduction of ULEZ of other daily charging zones as a whole country (13 percent).
The study also found that one in ten (11 percent) had to ask for a contribution towards the cost of petrol when taking a car.
And more than a quarter (27 percent) have had to limit the frequency with which they drive their car.
Lisa Watson, sales director at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “The continued pump increase will add even more pressure to drivers who already feel they are facing increased costs across all lanes.”
“Consumers across the country are looking for ways to address the ongoing cost of living crisis.”
“With high interest rates, inflation and rising prices at the pumps, many are now having to look at other measures to protect their finances even further – including charging loved ones a fuel fee when they take them out.”
A separate survey of 1,400 British drivers by carwow found that more than two in five (44 percent) admitted to changing their driving habits as a direct result of rising fuel prices.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) now actively shop for the cheapest fuel before setting off. Almost half (45 percent) of drivers say they repeatedly drive away from the nearest gas station to reap the rewards of lower prices.
The Carwow study suggests motorists fear a repeat of last year, when the cost of unleaded petrol rose significantly in less than six months, with more than half (52 per cent) of respondents saying they are worried about further price rises do before Christmas.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click, we may receive a small commission. This helps us finance This Is Money and keep it free to use. We don’t write articles to promote products. We will not allow a commercial relationship to compromise our editorial independence.