Petrol prices stabilise, but diesel prices likely to continue rising | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Tuesday 3rd October
Top Gear Advice

Petrol prices stabilise, but diesel prices likely to continue rising

Price-per-litre climbs in response to lower oil production

Published: 20 Sep 2023

Petrol and diesel prices have been steadily rising over that £1.50-per-litre threshold for a couple of weeks now. After dipping to more reasonable levels over the summer, prices are at over £1.55 for petrol and £1.59 for diesel. Where the price of petrol is expected to stabilise, the price of diesel is likely to continue increasing, according to the numbers crunched by RAC Fuel Watch.

The two figures gained parity over the last month or so, but the divide will push more diesel drivers to consider switching to electric. According to SMMT figures from August 2023, year-to-date sales figures show that new diesel cars have dropped by over 17 per cent, where the demand for battery electric vehicles has increased to almost 41 per cent. 

Advertisement - Page continues below

The average prices at motorway services continues to carry more than a 20 pence increase on those prices, at almost £1.76 for petrol and almost £1.80 for diesel.

The increases have been put down to a hike in the wholesale oil price. Since mid-July, oil production has slowed and so whatever black stuff is already out of the ground is worth more. The decreasing value of sterling against the US dollar is also continuing to push up the cost of imports. 

How much is petrol in the UK today?

It depends. Top Gear will always keep you posted on the latest fuel prices - stay tuned - but the RAC Fuel Watch alert is also a good resource. The prices of petrol fluctuate based on the price of oil. It's a long (and frankly, boring) story, so we'll keep it short.

Crude Oil +

Advertisement - Page continues below

Delivery (not Amazon Prime, sadly, but those trucks don't drive themselves...yet) +

Retailer margin +

Fuel Duty  =

The final fuel price at the pump. It's worth noting that retailer margin is where you'll see the most movement and why one station up the road can differ so greatly from another. 

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

Are fuel prices coming down in the UK?

Through the beginning of 2023, we were seeing prices at the pump trend down, that is no longer the case. They hovered around the £1.45 per litre mark until steadily climbing over £1.50. It doesn't look like it'll fall anytime soon, either.

What is the cheapest fuel near me?

After consulting our TG crystal ball, aka The Internet, your best bet for locating the cheapest fuel anywhere in the UK is via the extremely convenient app. It's free to download, you'll need to register, but you can enter any postcode or town and it'll show the local stations and the price at each. You can use filters to locate only specific brands if you have a loyalty card. They've also integrated a comment service, so you can award stars and feedback on each of your fill-ups, if you like. 

Why are UK fuel prices so high?

It's a great question, but it depends on the month you ask it. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine was having an impact and it'll continue to contribute to fluctuations but other factors, like the wholesale price of oil climbing and currency exchange rates, come to play a more significant role. 

How much was a litre of petrol in the UK in 2022?

The short answer is 'lower'. The graphs below show how the fuel prices have been tracking over the last few years. 

More from Top Gear

See more on Top Gear Advice

Promoted Content

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5