Weak pound pushes prices up over £1 at petrol pumps

The days of fuel at £1 a litre are over with prices jumping more than 4p over the last month, the AA said today.

Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 9:25 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 1:23 pm
Prices in Scotland are currently cheaper than in the rest of the UK, in part thanks to wider access to supermarket forecourts. Picture Ian Rutherford

However, Scotland now enjoys among the UK’s lowest average petrol prices, when it used to be among the highest.

The motoring group blamed the increase on the weak pound against the dollar, which is used for oil trading, and increased trading profits.

Its latest monthly report showed petrol prices increased by 4.4p a litre to average 107.3p on Monday. Asda, which traditionally has the lowest prices, increased its rates from £1 to 104.1p.

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Average petrol prices in Scotland were up by 4.1p to 106.9p, with only Northern Ireland and Wales cheaper.

Figures from petrolprices.com showed the cheapest petrol in Edinburgh on Thursday was 102.9p, 104.7p in Inverness and 111.9p in Ullapool.

The AA said average diesel prices in both Scotland and the UK were up nearly 3.6p to average 106.9p.

Petrolprices.com said the cheapest diesel in Edinburgh was 103.7p, 104.7p in Inverness and 110.9p in Ullapool.

The AA said diesel drivers were paying 3p a litre more than they should be because of its lower wholesale price, although the gap has halved compared to a year ago.

It said petrol prices in Scotland were lower than average because more of the population had access to supermarket forecourts than England.

AA president Edmund King said: “The AA is asked by its members why the pump price of petrol has shot up with oil still at around $40 a barrel.

“They instinctively blame the retailers because what is actually happening between the oil price and what the retailers pay for the fuel is hidden.The weaker pound and pumped-up commodity prices are the main cause. This time last year, $40 oil would have given UK drivers access to £1 a litre petrol at supermarkets.”

Neil Greig, policy and research director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “The situation for diesel drivers is unfair and has the most direct economic effect. It should be the focus of government attention to assist in containing industry costs. Traditionally, we see slightly higher prices in the summer as demand rises, but ultimately the price will be dictated by events far beyond Scotland.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon said: “The prices at the pump don’t reflect the true cost of cars through the health impacts of air pollution and carbon emissions.”