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Fuel prices fall to lowest level in four years

Date: 06 May 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

The average price of both a litre of petrol or diesel fell by more than 3p over the course of April, and easing lockdown restrictions might cause prices to fall even further.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch shows that the price of filling up a car with petrol is now the cheapest it has been since May 2016.

The average price of a litre of petrol fell by 4.15p in April, from 113.1p to 108.95p, although prices are even lower at some supermarkets. The price of diesel fell by 3p, from 117.5p to 114.54p per litre.

The reason average prices have dropped last month was that most fuel retailers were catching up with the supermarkets' massive price drops in March. Supermarkets' prices remained largely static through April.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "While it might seem odd that fuel price falls stalled last month despite wholesale prices coming down yet further, it is explained by the simple fact that UK fuel retailers will have been selling a fraction of what they would normally have sold in the last six weeks.

"We expect that only an easing of lockdown restrictions by the UK Government will trigger forecourts into changing their prices significantly, as this would effectively be a signal to millions that they can start making different types of journeys again by car, not just those currently deemed 'essential'.

"As and when they do, drivers could be in line for even cheaper fill-ups in the coming months if wholesale prices remain suppressed, but that remains a big 'if' because as soon as more of us start driving the price of oil could begin to increase.

"A cut in oil production, which was previously agreed by some of the world's largest oil-producing nations, is likely in time to lead to the oil price drifting back up again, although for now supply is outstripping demand so much that it's hard to see prices increasing by any great margin in May."