The price of petrol in the UK has fallen below £1 per litre for the first time in six years.
Supermarket Morrisons today announced it would be selling petrol at 99.9p per litre, as well as cutting diesel prices by 1p per litre. The company said its price cut would save the average driver around £17 per week when filling up, compared to the price hikes experienced in May 2011.
Other supermarkets are expected to follow Morrisons’ lead this weekend. Asda has already said it will be running a weekend promotion, with petrol priced at 99.7p per litre until Sunday night.
Although Morrisons has said it wants to keep its petrol prices below £1 per litre for “as long as possible”, the supermarket chain has warned that its prices are linked to the global price of oil, which has been steadily falling in recent weeks.
The price of a barrel of Brent Crude oil – which serves as a benchmark price for oil purchases worldwide – dipped to below $40 (about £26) per barrel earlier this week – its lowest price since 2009. Oil had been trading at as high as $110 (£72) last summer, but a slowdown in emerging markets has lead to oversupply.
While drivers will no doubt welcome the move, the AA has pointed out that drivers in the rest of Europe and Ireland are already used to lower prices, with petrol currently costing just £83.4p per litre in Spain. The price of petrol had already fallen to an average of £1.05 per litre at UK supermarkets in November.
The RAC, meanwhile, has predicted that lower fuel prices will become a “common sight” in the run-up to Christmas.
Despite the price fall, petrol and diesel prices still remain high. Data from the RAC Foundation shows that fuel prices have been rising since 2009, when petrol was at its cheapest at 86p per litre, to a high of £1.42 per litre in April 2012.