November saw the UK’s sharpest fuel price drops in four years, according to the RAC, but the organisation says retailers should have cut prices even further.
At the end of the month, the average price of petrol stood at 125.43p per litre – down 5.18p on the average price at the beginning of November.
It’s the most dramatic reduction in petrol price since January 2015, and it sees the cost of filling a typical 55-litre petrol tank with unleaded fuel reduced by £2.85 when compared with the beginning of the month.
Diesel prices also fell, albeit slightly less drastically, with prices cut from 136.93p per litre to 134.42p over the course of the month.
According to the RAC, the cut in prices is down to a reduction in the price of oil and falling wholesale fuel costs. However, despite the cut in prices, the organisation says its analysis reveals that the cost reductions enjoyed by retailers have not been passed on to customers in full.
The organisation’s fuel spokesperson, Simon Williams, said drivers of diesel cars were being overcharged to the tune of 7p per litre, while petrol was 10p per litre more expensive than it should be.
“The oil price plummeted by 24% throughout November, which proved to be positive for motorists – indeed we haven’t seen such a large drop in average prices in nearly four years,” he said.
“This should have translated to the average price of petrol being around 120p a litre, but retailers chose not to pass on the savings meaning. While one of the big four supermarkets has consistently cut the price of unleaded, the others haven’t cut prices as much, which has meant the UK average price didn’t drop as much as it should have done.
“Based on our data, petrol still ought to come down by 7p a litre in the next two weeks and diesel by 5p. While this seems unlikely based on retailers’ current track record, we can only hope they are planning some cuts in the run-up to Christmas with a view to getting more shoppers into their stores.
“In the last six years we haven’t seen retailers take this much margin from selling a litre of petrol over such a protracted length of time. Wholesale unleaded began falling from mid-October but retailers were reluctant to reflect this on the forecourt despite the RAC highlighting the issue on numerous occasions.