AA says recent surge in petrol costs could push drivers into electric cars

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Another hike at the pumps pushes petrol over £1.30-a-litre: The AA says another 2p has been added to the cost of a litre of unleaded and diesel in the last month. Should you start thinking about owning an electric car?


No end in sight for surging petrol prices: Cost to fill up is at a three-year high and AA says case for electric cars is becoming ‘stronger’

  • Petrol has jumped from 128.43p to 130.69p-a-litre in the last month
  • It’s the highest average price of unleaded since late October 2018
  • AA says oil is on the verge of soaring in value, pushing pump prices even higher
  • With petrol and diesel car running costs on the rise there is a compelling argument for switching to an EV, according to motoring group 

There is no end in sight for surging fuel prices, with the AA saying rises at the pump will only strengthen the argument for switching to an electric vehicle.

The last month has recorded another 2p-a-litre rise in the average petrol price, pushing unleaded to a high not seen for almost three years, according to the latest fuel report from the motoring organisation. 

Between mid-May and mid-June, petrol has jumped from 128.43p to 130.69p-a-litre. Drivers last encountered prices at this level in late October 2018, the AA’s Fuel Price Report reveals.

And with oil prices reportedly on the verge of soaring in value, experts from the motoring organisation say it makes for a compelling reason to buy an EV now, rather than waiting for the ban on new petrol and diesel cars in in 2030. 

Another hike at the pumps pushes petrol over £1.30-a-litre: The AA says another 2p has been added to the cost of a litre of unleaded and diesel in the last month. Should you start thinking about owning an electric car?

A review of prices up and down the country has found a huge disparity in the cost of unleaded.

One retailer in Lancaster is selling petrol for 121.9p-a-litre, while a Gulf filling station in central London is charging an eye-watering 163.5p per litre of unleaded.

That’s a difference of 41.6p per litre, which works out at a huge £22.88 difference when filling a 55-litre fuel tank of an average-size family hatchback. 

Diesel has also increased on average by 2p-a-lite in the last month, now charged at 133.08p per litre compared to 130.81p in the middle of May, says the AA. 

The last time the ‘workhorse’ fuel was that expensive was back in June 2019, historical data shows. 

Between mid-May and mid-June, petrol has jumped from 128.43p to 130.69p-a-litre. Drivers last encountered prices at this level in late October 2018, the AA's Fuel Price Report says

Between mid-May and mid-June, petrol has jumped from 128.43p to 130.69p-a-litre. Drivers last encountered prices at this level in late October 2018, the AA’s Fuel Price Report says

Average June petrol prices by retailer

Average June diesel prices by retailer

A scan of average pump prices by major retailer brand now shows bigger gaps between the Big Four supermarkets

A review of prices up and down the country has found a huge disparity in the cost of unleaded. A Sainsbury's retailer in Lancaster is selling petrol for 121.9p-a-litre

In contrast, a Gulf filling station in central London (right) is charging an eye-watering 163.5p per litre of unleaded

A review of prices up and down the country has found a huge disparity in the cost of unleaded. A Sainsbury’s retailer in Lancaster (left) is selling petrol for 121.9p-a-litre, while a Gulf filling station in central London (right) is charging an eye-watering 163.5p per litre of unleaded.

A scan of average pump prices by major retailer brand now shows bigger gaps between the Big Four supermarkets. 

This is being flagged by drivers as the easing of lockdown allows them to start travelling around the country and they discover supermarket fuel often 4p-a-litre – the equivalent of £2-a-tank – cheaper than in their home town.

The AA says the most recent 2p hike and the speculator-driven surge in oil prices – now higher than pre-pandemic – is making one of the best cases for the switch to electric cars, leading to the eventual demise of the road fossil fuel trade. 

Petrol prices have been rising since November, with demand for fuel increasing as Covid-19 global lockdowns begin to lift

Petrol prices have been rising since November, with demand for fuel increasing as Covid-19 global lockdowns begin to lift

For drivers who were already contemplating a post-covid car change, the argument for switching to electric has 'become very much stronger' on the back of hiked fuel costs, AA says

For drivers who were already contemplating a post-covid car change, the argument for switching to electric has ‘become very much stronger’ on the back of hiked fuel costs, AA says

‘Now that many are travelling on staycations, road trips or out and about for work, drivers are beginning to rumble that lockdown was not only a matter of being restricted to their local area but also being locked into higher pump prices,’ says Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman.

These are the average fuel prices by region across the UK

These are the average fuel prices by region across the UK

‘Holidaymakers heading to big towns in more rural parts of the country are often discovering pump prices that are 4p-a-litre or £2-a-tank cheaper than where they came from, even at the supermarkets. 

‘This has turned the current pump price shock into even more of a nasty surprise.

‘For those contemplating a post-covid car change, the argument for switching to electric has become very much stronger.’

Zap-Map, the website that plots every public charger in the country and provides information on battery electric car running costs, estimates a nearly 7p-a-mile saving for a small electric car (paying 16.5p per kWh) commuting 20 miles a day compared to the petrol version (paying £1.30 a litre) – a daily saving of nearly £1.40. 

Respectively, the cost per mile is 4.6p versus 11.5p.

With off-peak home charging costs as low as 4.5p to 5p per kWh, the EV cost of that journey can fall to 1.2p a mile or 25p for the whole commute. 

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