fuel station

Save money on fuel prices throughout the UK

We use approximately 120 million litres of fuel in the UK each day: 46 million of petrol and 74m litres of diesel respectively. 

What we pay per litre can vary considerably depending on our location and the retailer we choose to buy from. Here we take a look more into what we are paying at the pump, in turn revealing how to save £100’s on your fuel bill each year.

What affects fuel prices?

What we have to pay for both petrol and diesel is affected by wholesale fuel prices. These are dependent on a number of factors;

  • the global price of crude oil
  • the supply and demand for crude oil
  • refinery production and capacity
  • the exchange rate in pounds to dollars (refined fuel is sold in US dollars per metric tonne)
  • distribution costs
  • the margin dictated by the retailer
  • fuel duty charged by the government
  • VAT (20%) charged at the end of every transaction

While some of these elements are fixed, such as fuel duty rates and tax, fluctuations in oil price and exchange rates contribute to the constantly changing prices we have become accustom to.

Man driving to fuel station

What should we expect to pay for fuel?

The highest prices on record were recorded back in April 2012 when we could have paid up to 147.93 pence per litre for diesel and 142.48 pence per litre for petrol.

Fuel prices remained largely steady throughout 2019 and 2020 until the COVID-19 outbreak led to plummeting prices. 

As of March 2020, the AA reported these national fuel price statistics:

Petrol

Highest – you'll pay higher for unleaded in the South East and London - 122.4 p/litre.

Lowest –  the lowest recorded price for unleaded was in Northern Ireland - 118.5 p/litre.

Diesel

Highest – the South East has recorded the highest diesel price at 125.3 p/litre.

Lowest – Northern Ireland has the cheapest diesel at 120.5 p/litre.

Full fuel tank

How can you save money on your fuel bill?

The cheapest place to get your fuel can change from one day to the next. While it can be a hassle to travel a few miles out of the way, doing so could save you a number of pence per litre. Over the course of the year is likely to amount to £100s of savings.

Our first tip would be getting familiar with all of the fuel stations within a reasonable radius to you. Don’t just consider supermarkets as independent retailers can also be competitive in order to keep up with their larger counterparts. Check up-to-date prices before you head out and head for the cheapest – it isn’t as though you need to pay more to be sure of better quality or great customer service as with some purchases.

The benefit of supermarket fuelling, beyond just the obvious convenience, is that these big chains will battle each other over fuel prices in order to win your grocery custom too. Furthermore, we frequently see money off vouchers issued as a result of your weekly shop which can be a great way to further savings. It is a result of this that UK supermarkets are responsible for some 44% of total fuel sales despite only representing around 16% of forecourts.

Think also of the points cards offered at certain stations which can add value beyond just your fuel bill.

There are lots of apps designed specifically to keep you in the know of the cheapest fuel prices near you. Our favourite, for depth of information and ease of use, is Petrol Prices. Whether you have the help of an app, or are happy to search online yourself, checking up-to-date fuel prices before you head out to fill up could create a massive yearly saving.