Pump prices reach new record highs as petrol hits 167p per litre

Chancellor Rishi Sunak could announce a temporary cut in fuel duty of up to 5p per litre in Wednesday’s spring statement.

21 March 2022

Average pump prices have hit new record highs amid growing speculation the Chancellor is preparing to slash fuel duty.

Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average price of a litre of fuel at UK forecourts on Sunday was 167p for petrol and 179p for diesel.

This is an increase of 18p for petrol and 26p for diesel over the past month.

There are suggestions Chancellor Rishi Sunak could announce a temporary cut in fuel duty of up to 5p per litre in Wednesday’s spring statement.

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent forecourts, insisted “we don’t want to charge” record prices as “many of our members know their customers personally”.

Asked by Sky News if average prices could soon hit 200p per litre, he told Sky News that fluctuating wholesale costs mean pump prices “could go up to that level”.

He added: “We hope not, but it’s obviously very hard to predict at the moment.”

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet accused retailers of failing to pass on a recent fall in wholesale costs.

He said: “Wholesale petrol and diesel costs started to fall away dramatically on March 9, yet more than 10 days later prices at the pumps continue to set new records.

“Even with oil rebounding to 110 US dollars a barrel at the end of last week, wholesale petrol on Friday was down 12p a litre on the March 8 peak.”

Mr Bosdet added that supermarkets are failing to spark industry-wide price cuts.

He said: “Pre-pandemic, the retailers would sit on lower-cost savings and wait for either Asda or Morrisons to announce price cuts, and then start to bring their prices down.

“Now that that competitive thrust has largely gone, drivers and businesses in desperate need of the financial relief of lower pump prices must struggle on.”

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said “the window for pump prices to come down appears to have been well and truly closed” as both oil prices and wholesale fuel costs are rising.

He went on: “While there has been talk of a 5p cut in fuel duty, this may not be deep enough to make a real difference to drivers who are facing the highest ever costs to fill their tanks.

“Ensuring all drivers fairly and fully benefit from the fuel duty cut depends entirely on retailers reducing their prices and not using it as an opportunity to take a greater profit on every litre they sell.

“On the other hand, reducing VAT, which is a tax on a tax, prevents this from happening and would guarantee drivers benefit fully.”

Fuel duty is currently levied at 57.95p per litre for petrol and diesel, with VAT at 20% charged on top of the total price.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.