Petrol price falls below £1.50 a litre for first time in almost a year

‘Huge relief’ for drivers as price of unleaded drops to lowest point since Russian invasion of Ukraine

Petrol prices have dropped below £1.50 a litre for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the AA.

The motoring group reported that the average price per litre for unleaded fell to 149.74p per litre on Monday, bringing it to its lowest levels since last February and more than 40p per litre down from July’s record high of 191.53p.

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The group’s fuel spokesman, Luke Bosdet said the falling prices were a “huge relief” for drivers during the cost of living crisis and said the latest reductions were due to a drop in global oil prices.

According to the AA’s figures, the cost of filling a 55-litre petrol tank is now £82, around £23 less than at July’s record high point. However, Bosdet said that filling stations in towns and cities are charging up to 10p per litre more than those in rural parts of the country and diesel is also still more expensive than last year at an average of 172.21p.

Fuel prices soared throughout the first half of 2022 as Russia’s aggression caused worldwide fears over the supply of oil, driving up the price of fuel. However, experts say that prices have settled as alternatives to Russian oil have been found, helping bring down the price at the pumps.

Bosdet commented: "A 41.8p-a-litre crash in the average pump price of petrol is a huge relief for drivers. But, fuel at 150p a litre is still historically way above the April 2012 record of 142.48p, the previous yardstick of dire pump prices.”

He also warned that they could climb again in March as the temporary fuel duty cut comes to an end. That will add 5p per litre back onto the price of petrol and diesel.

The OBR has predicted that the end of the discount plus an additional increase in line with inflation could push duty up by a total of 12p per litre, although the Treasury insists no decision on fuel duty changes has yet been made and fuel duty has been frozen for the last 12 successive Budgets.

The RAC recently claimed that despite recent reductions, average fuel prices were still 11p per litre too high as retailers took advantage of falling wholesale prices to extend their profits.

The news comes as the RAC revealed the cost of public charging of electric cars has shot up almost 60% since May 2022. Its Charge Watch service found the average cost of rapid charging an EV has risen to 70.32p per kWh, meaning in some circumstances, EVs are now more expensive to fuel per-mile than a petrol car. The report found that using a rapid charger now equates to a cost of 20p per mile compared to the 17p per mile cost of fuelling a petrol car capable of 40mpg. However, it also found that drivers who charged at home still made substantial savings compared to petrol and diesel costs.

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