Diesel price drops below £1.60-a-litre for the first time in 13 MONTHS

Diesel drops below £1.60-a-litre at the pumps for the first time in more than a year – but it’s still 13p dearer than petrol

The average price of diesel has fallen below £1.60-a-litre for the first time in 13 months, the AA says.

The average price of the fuel at the pumps has this week dropped to 159.39p per litre, the first time it has slipped below 160p since March 2022.

However, the motoring organisation says that nearly 13p-a-litre extra that the fuel trade lumps on to the average pump price continues to plague delivery costs of goods and services, including to the NHS.

Diesel prices dip: The UK average price of the fuel has slipped below £1.60-a-litre this week for the first time in 13 months. However, it’s still 13p-a-litre dearer than petrol

On Thursday, the average pump price of diesel fell below the 160p-a-litre mark for the first time since 3 March 2022. 

Since then, diesel soared to a new record high of 199.07p last July, sending costs for some motorists and many business operators through the roof.

The 39.68p a litre reduction since its peak on 1 July 2022 has knocked £31.75 off the cost of filling up a Transit-type van’s 80-litre fuel tank, falling from £159.26 last summer to £127.51 today. 

However, diesel at the pump remains on average nearly 13p-a-litre dearer than petrol.

This is despite the wholesale price of diesel being cheaper than unleaded for over a month.

The AA says that diesel leaving refineries and fuel depots this week has become more than 5p per litre cheaper than petrol that’s heading in tankers to UK forecourts.

Petrol this week averaged 146.50p-a-litre on Thursday, having peaked early last July at a record of 191.53p.

The motoring group had flagged earlier this week that unleaded was showing signs of rising this week as the typical cost of a barrel of oil has risen by more than $10 (£8.05) since mid-March after oil producer group Opec cut production in a surprise move.

A slight increase in the price of petrol earlier this week came after a sustained downward trend which lasted 22 weeks, starting on October 30 when the average was 166.5p per litre.

Luke Bosdet, AA spokesman, said: ‘Diesel may have been demonised in major towns and cities for its contribution to low level pollution in urban environments, but it remains the workhorse fuel of haulage, deliveries and services.

‘Businesses and services that rely on diesel to function had to increase charges to reflect its soaring cost. 

‘To do that, many introduced a system of fuel surcharges that rise or fall with diesel’s average pump price.

‘Average diesel pump prices that remain higher than they should be not only fleece the private car owner but fail to alleviate cost pressures on businesses. That gets passed on to customers and consumers, and keeps inflation higher than it might otherwise be.

‘A dip check of some of these delivery surcharges shows that bloated fuel trade margins are adding at least 1 per cent to invoices and adding to NHS costs.’

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