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Electric is still cheaper than fuel, even though UK petrol is falling below £1.50 per litre

Parting with our pay packet is such sour sorrow at the petrol pump

Published: 13 Jan 2023
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A 2022 summer of exorbitant fuel prices has had many of us feeling the pinch at the pump. The economic shambles has also created a contemptible crowd of smug electric car (EV) drivers. Petrol prices are now at a mildly more reasonable £149.3 on average, according to RAC Fuel Watch, an initiative campaigning for fair fuel prices in the UK.

Despite petrol being cheaper, research conducted by Myenergi reckons the average EV will still be cheaper than petrol until prices fall under £1. While research released in December calculated ultra-fast EV charging prices to be more expensive than a full tank of diesel, Myenergi - a manufacturer of home EV charge points - says that the vast majority of EV drivers charge at home, overnight, where it’s cheaper.

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This is down to the government’s (yep, them again) ‘Energy Price Guarantee’. That’s a cap that keeps the average dual-fuel unit price on electricity limited to 34p per kWh on standard variable tariffs. 

Kilo-watt, kilo-who? Yeah, yeah, those weird electric tariff terms get us every time, too. The point is, by Myenergi’s calculations, the price per mile is about 11p electric vs 15p fuel, unless fuel is cheaper than a quid.

That particular phenomenon hasn’t happened since 2009 (discounting the odd anomaly in local areas of the UK circa 2015/16). With powerful fuel players posting record profits, in spite of the cost-of-living crisis, we can only assume that the price of the fossil-based flammable isn’t likely to dip under £1 anytime soon. 

Meanwhile, diesel drivers have seen prices drop from £1.74 at the end of December to £1.71. Considering these prices, it’s no surprise that electric cars are predicted to account for almost half a million UK car sales this year. The nation’s total new car sales in 2022 reached 1.6 million.

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FIVE OF THE INTERNET’S MOST PERTINENT QUESTIONS ABOUT UK FUEL PRICES

How much is petrol in the UK today?

It depends. Top Gear will always keep you up-to-date 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 +

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

Retailer margin (which has caused the main issue lately) +

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Fuel Duty (Lord knows we deserve a break from Rishi in March) =

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. 

Are fuel prices coming down in the UK?

Yes, since the beginning of 2023, we're beginning to see prices at the pump trend down. Thankfully. (Only two more weeks to payday, hang in there.)

What is the cheapest fuel near me?

After consulting our TG crystal ball, aka The Google, your best bet for locating the cheapest fuel anywhere in the UK is via the extremely convenient PetrolPrices.com 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. Plenty of economists have cited the war in Ukraine and the post-pandemic demand as reasons for the price hikes over the summer of 2022. However, since the fuel companies have had to publish their end-of-year financial results, some questions are now being asked about the true impact of these events. Far be it from us to suggest forecourt owners were profiteering, ahem, we mean capitalising, after the heavy losses suffered during the Covid pandemic...

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

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