Fuel costs remain historically high despite being down on start of last season
Football fans travelling by car to away games are still paying a heavy price for their loyalty despite pump prices being below where they were this time last year.
Whilst the price of petrol and diesel has fallen from the near-record levels seen in August 2022 they are still around 15p per litre above where they stood two seasons ago before the war in Ukraine started.
The RAC Foundation has analysed how many grounds fans of each of the 20 teams in the current Premiership could reach on £20 worth of petrol or diesel and is based on the following pump prices:
|Price at start of season in pence per litre|
|2021-22 season||2022-23 season||2023-24 season|
For example, supporters of Aston Villa – based in the heart of the country – could now reach 12 away grounds on £20-worth of diesel, 6 more than last year.
However, two years ago they could have reached 15 grounds for the same expenditure on fuel.
Last season Newcastle fans couldn’t get to any away grounds on £20-worth of diesel. Things have improved this season, but only slightly. They can now get to one away ground for that amount.
For ease of comparison, no account has been taken of relegation and promotion and is based on those teams in the Premier League at the start of the 2023-24 season.
It is assumed journeys start and end at a football stadium.
Supporters whose teams are located at one end of the country, or another, have always needed particularly deep pockets to follow their side’s fortunes at away games and geography will continue to influence the financial aspect of being an away fan.
However, the hit to the wallet that many fans are currently facing for their travel – even allowing for pump prices being lower now than a year ago – shines a spotlight on the monetary burden faced by tens of millions of people who rely on their cars to go about their daily lives, whether it is to get to work, get to the shops, visit family or play or watch sport.
The table below shows the number of Premier League grounds fans of each club can currently reach on £20 of fuel compared with 12 months ago and 24 months ago:
|Start of 2023-24 season||Start of
|Start of 2023-24 season|
|Brighton and Hove Albion||8||5||8||8||6||8|
Based on a previous RAC Foundation study of the fuel consumption of the vehicle parc, it is assumed the average petrol car has a fuel consumption of 33 mpg and a diesel car 41 mpg.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“When drivers visit the garage forecourt many don’t look to fill up the tank but instead spend a set amount of money, for example £20. This analysis helps show how far that amount takes the ardent football fan, or doesn’t.
“Whilst some fans would pay almost anything to see a big away win for their club, high fuel prices add insult to injury when they have spent a lot of time and money travelling away only for their team to lose.
“The good news is that, overall, pump prices – and hence the fuel cost of travelling by car – are lower than what they were last season. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Football fans are still paying much more for their away trips than they were two years ago and even then prices were at historically high levels.
“The bad news is that oil prices have been relatively strong in recent weeks and the wholesale prices of petrol and diesel are heading up again. It would be only the most optimistic fan who thinks they won’t continue to feed through into higher pump prices in the weeks ahead.
“Of course, high fuel prices over the past year or two can’t be looked at in isolation. Almost everything else we need – from food to domestic heating – has been rising in price too. And whilst our analysis looks only at journeys made by football fans the pain will be familiar to tens of millions of people who are juggling household budgets.”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
[email protected] | 07711 776448
Notes to editors:
The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.
The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org