Average pump prices tumbling

Petrol sales

Drivers are paying the lowest average price for petrol in more than two and a half years, according to a study.

The AA Fuel Price Report found the average pump price of petrol fell from 132.16p per litre last month to 130.44p.
%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%It had risen to a high of 138.38p in the second week of September before the end of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis and the stronger pound sent wholesale prices tumbling, the motoring organisation said.

The cheapest price for supermarket petrol in built-up areas ranges from 126.7p in towns with strong competition to 131.9p in those without, usually small market and coastal towns like Clacton-on-Sea, Trowbridge and Newark.

Last week, however, some non-supermarket fuel stations in London's Streatham and Mortlake areas were able to sell petrol at 124.9p a litre.

The cost of diesel also continued to fall, down from an average of 139.12p a litre in mid October to 137.78p now. It had also hit a late summer high in the second week of September, reaching 142.88p.

At about 7p a litre more expensive than petrol, diesel's differential is largely consistent with the November price gap over the past two years.

Edmund King, the AA's president, said: "On average, 28% of AA members buy a set amount of fuel each time they go to a petrol station.

"This rises to 40% for younger drivers and 44% for lower-income ones. In September, a £30 spend bought them 21.7 litres and now it buys them 23 - a boost equal to a free 10-mile round trip to work.

"A family with two petrol cars was spending the equivalent of £252.54 a month on fuel in September, now it's £238.05. A company with 100 Ford Mondeos was spending typically £10,000 to fill them up with diesel in mid September, now it's around £9,640. Last week, it was officially recognised that lower pump prices helped to bring inflation down to 2.2%.

"You cannot understate the importance of lower pump prices. That is why, when the independent retailers say they would get significant savings from delaying the payment of fuel tax, the AA wholeheartedly supports the move if it helps the remote rural and other small petrol stations to survive."

He added: "But in the many towns where our members and other drivers complain about pump prices being 5p a litre higher than a few miles up the road, extra relief for the retailers should be reciprocated with fairer pump prices."

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