Could Petrol Reach £1.50 A Litre?

Mon 24th May 2021

Less than a year since petrol prices almost dipped below the £1 mark at the height of lockdown, the cost of filling up at the pump has hit new highs, with some retailers on the verge of charging £1.50 a litre.

New data published by the AA reveal that petrol prices have now bounced-back to pre-pandemic levels, with the average spend per litre of petrol now an eye-watering 128.43p a litre, its highest price since September 2019.

The rise, which is the equivalent of £1 a tank for the average car, is being driven by a spike in demand globally and an increase in exports from the world’s biggest oil producing nations.

“Oil’s return to $70 a barrel, last seen in May 2019, has propelled UK pump prices upward once more,” said Luke Bosdet, the AA's fuel spokesman. 

“They had stabilised for a fortnight in late April, but OPEC’s oil exports have jumped by one million barrels per day so far in May. 

“Meanwhile, investment banks and other speculators are talking up the price, one predicting the biggest jump in oil demand in history.”

With the growth of electric vehicles putting petrol companies on notice, it could be cynical to suggest that they are making one last cash grab from those who still drive internal combustion engines. Some motorway retailers are charging drivers on the M25 150.9p-a-litre according to the data, more than 27p cheaper than the lowest supermarket price, the 123.05 a litre at Asda.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the AA’s spokesman said: “If holiday car travellers think that pump prices near home are high, wait until they take to the motorways,”

“However, there are some excellent fuel prices to be found on major routes – the problem is knowing where they are.

“And seeing as the default setting for most car owners is to avoid fuel prices on motorways unless desperate, the bad reputation plays against competitive forecourts that are breaking the mould. 

“The AA says to drivers: there are oases of cheap motorway fuel. Keep an eye out for them.”