The pump price gap between diesel and petrol has hit a record high.
Analysis by the RAC Foundation and the PA news agency of weekly fuel price data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows that at the start of the week diesel was nearly 17ppl more expensive than petrol, at 180.3ppl and 163.8ppl respectively.
This means filling a typical 55-litre tank of a family diesel car is around £9 more expensive than for petrol models.
The price difference is the largest pence per litre differential in BEIS records dating back to June 2003.
Over the past 19 years diesel has, on average, cost around 5ppl more than petrol. There have been rare examples of petrol being more expensive than diesel, but by no more than 2.5ppl.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In part this huge gap is the product of a dip in global demand for petrol following the end of the so-called driving season in the United States.
“But more significant is the rising global demand for diesel which is not only used as a road fuel but also, especially in continental Europe, as a method of heating and power generation and as a substitute for gas. Given that supplies from Russia have been cut back because of the war in Ukraine this means there are a lot of people chasing less stock.
“The bad news for UK diesel drivers – and the diesel-truck dependent UK freight industry – is that, with winter only just starting and the war in Ukraine showing no sign of ending, the sizeable gap between diesel and petrol pump prices is likely to continue for several months to come even if the cost of oil drops.”
A barrel of Brent crude oil is currently just below $90 a barrel, down from a year high of $128 in early March shortly after the invasion of Ukraine. However, as oil is priced in