The latest fuel price reports from AA reveal that in April 2015 alone, fuel prices went up by 3p a litre, meaning that they have risen by 10p a litre since February 2015. AA experts believe that the recent reduction in overall petrol consumption is the result of these price increases.
Filling station sales saw a rise of 4.5% in February 2015, but are now down by 1%. Petrol consumption in the UK has never been lower.
Edmund King, AA President, stated the increases were, frustratingly, artificial. “Despite negative inflation in April, warning signals coming from the EU and the United States indicate that the $20-a-barrel leap in the price of oil since the beginning of the year is once again influencing the car-use and fuel-buying behaviour of drivers.”
“Once again, this will be down to commodity market speculation pushing up oil and wholesale prices artificially – particularly infuriating for drivers and business when data from OPEC and the International Energy Agency show the world has been pumping 1.5 million more barrels of oil per day than it consumes.”
Still, current pump prices remain lower than in 2014….
It could be worse for motorists, however; we could be back in May 2014 when petrol was averaging 130p a litre and diesel 136p. “Car-dependent families should be feeling much better off,” said King.
Talking about the reduction in car usage, King said that “a 10p-a-litre hike since February echoes the price spikes of 2012 and 2013 and UK drivers may have responded as they have in the past by cutting back on car use.
“However, if official fuel consumption and retail sales figures for April reinforce a worsening picture, it will show a more sustained driver backlash to rising forecourt prices.”