Average fuel prices hit three and a half year low

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Motorists are paying less on average for fuel than they were three and a half years ago.

Average pump prices in the UK have fallen below where they were before the 2.5 per cent VAT increase on January 4, 2011, the AA reports.

Yesterday, the average price of petrol across the UK fell to 124.93p a litre, down more than three-quarters of a penny over the weekend. On 3 January 2011, petrol had averaged 125.19p

Diesel now averages 129.15p a litre, compared to 129.30p on 3 January 2011.

In mid July, the price of petrol hit a summer high of 131.70p a litre. The 6.8p-a-litre difference between then and now represents a saving of £3.74 when filling a typical 55-litre fuel tank.

With UK drivers consuming around 1.5 billion litres of petrol a month, more than £100 million a month is being diverted from petrol sales back into consumers’ pockets and potential high street spending – providing the cost of petrol stays where it is or falls further.

Paul Watters, the AA’s head of roads policy, said: “As well as a 13 per cent fall in wholesale petrol costs, the pound has shown signs of strengthening over the past 10 days, which bodes even better news for UK consumers and businesses.

“However, before everyone gets carried away, there are two grim realities: since 2008, the country has learned that commodities that crash one month can correct themselves or shoot up the next – such is the influence of commodity market speculation.”

“Secondly, despite petrol prices 2p-a-litre cheaper in September compared to the summer high, official statistics show that UK petrol sales slumped to 1.46 billion litres, down 3.8% on the same period last year. The road to recovery is still a rocky and uncertain one for drivers.”