Pump prices up every week for more than six months31 May 2021

Upward trend began in middle of November

The average pump price of both petrol and diesel in the UK has increased every week for more than six months.

According to government data, on 24 May this year petrol was selling for 127.89p per litre having risen every week since 16 November last year when it stood at 112.4p per litre.

It was a similar picture for diesel with the price moving from 117.1p per litre to 131.5p over the same period.

Over that time the price of Brent crude oil has moved from $42 a barrel to $69.6 though there have been small falls along the way.

Whilst the price of oil is a big component in the retail cost of fuel much of what drivers pay on the forecourt is dictated by the Chancellor. Currently the Treasury levies a duty of 57.95p on both a litre of petrol and diesel with VAT added on top of both the duty and the underlying product price. Currently, tax accounts for 62% of the price of petrol and 61% of the price of diesel.

The RAC Foundation publishes a weekly fuel fact sheet. There is also information about fuel in the data section of our website.

(Note: the data on our website comes from a different source to the BEIS data cited above so there might be slight variations in the numbers.)

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“In some respects relentlessly rising fuel prices are a positive sign as they signal a recovering economy and growing demand for travel. But that’s of little comfort to the vast majority of drivers who haven’t been able to afford the switch to still-expensive to buy electric cars and rely on fossil fuels to go about their daily business.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 07711 776448 | 020 7747 3445

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