The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that inflation has fallen to its lowest level in nearly four years, mostly because of a reduction in energy and fuel pump prices. Meanwhile, a new report by GoCompare has concluded that Brits have saved over £260 million on fuel at the pumps since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown back in March.
The ONS said: “Average petrol prices fell by 10.4 pence per litre between March and April 2020, which was the largest monthly fall since the current ultra-low sulphur or unleaded petrol series began in 1990.”
“Prices for motor fuels tend to move broadly in line with global prices for crude oil, but the effect is generally muted as consumer prices for motor fuels also include other costs such as transport, duty and retail costs, including operating costs that must be met even when sales are low. Global prices for crude oil have fallen sharply since the start of the year to reach a 21-year low in part because of consumption levels falling by an estimated 70% as a result of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) related work and travel restrictions.”
Asda’s petrol stations have taken advantage of the situation. The supermarket chain said: “Our nationwide price cap means that motorists filing up at any of our petrol stations will pay no more than 99.7p per litre for unleaded and 104.7 per litre for diesel. Following the fall in oil prices, this fuel price cut means we can continue to support the nation during these unprecedented times and help lower the cost for people who need to be travelling to and from work and those who need to make essential journeys.”
Other supermarket petrol stations, such as Morrisons and Tesco, have also dropped their costs to below the £1 per litre level.
However, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It remains to be seen how long prices this low will persist for, with some early indications that wholesale petrol prices have started to rise as a result of the world oil price creeping up.”
GoCompare’s analysis has revealed exactly how much of an effect the lockdown has had on the average driver’s bank account as the majority of the British population has stayed safe by staying at home, saving time and money on their normal commutes.
GoCompare explained: “On average, Brits spend 58 minutes a day commuting for work by car, covering 3.4 miles each way. Over the course of a year that adds up to over 200 hours, or around eight and a half days a year. Owners of petrol cars spend around £1,042 a year to fuel their cars, while diesel drivers spend slightly more at £1,265. That equates to an average fuel spend of £1,154 a year, 3.26% of the average UK salary (£35,423).”
“As of May 12 2020, we’ve been in lockdown for 51 days. 34 of which were working days, where we’d typically commute. 68% of the UK population drive to work everyday [sic], which equates to 22,487,600 people. Times that by the fuel cost of a single working day, and you get a grand total of £267,602,440.00 over the 34 days of lockdown.”
While making savings is always good news, it’s worth bearing in mind that your vehicle can still benefit from being regularly driven during lockdown to prevent further costs, including brakes and batteries, down the road. Tap here to read more about vehicle care and maintenance during the lockdown. Tap here to read our tips for your motoring budget.