After two months of rises at the pumps, the price of petrol and diesel stabilised in February, according to RAC Fuel Watch data.
Unleaded petrol finished the month at 120.23ppl, a fractional increase on the figure of 120.05ppl on February 1, and diesel was 122.25ppl, having started at 122.31p.
The report attributed the stability to two key price-determining factors – the price of oil and the sterling/dollar exchange rate – which have both steadied, keeping wholesale prices in check. A barrel of oil averaged $55 throughout the month and the pound was worth on average $1.25.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “While the price of oil has shot up by $10 since the end of November when many oil producing countries agreed to curb production, it appears to have settled around the $55 mark which will be a relief to motorists who no doubt felt forecourt prices were constantly heading in the wrong direction. Filling up an average car is sadly now £11 more expensive than a year ago.
Simon Williams added: “The agreement between OPEC and non-member countries seems to be holding firm for the time being which is not good news for motorists. For prices at the pumps to come down again we would need the oil price to reduce and the pound to make up some of its lost ground on the dollar.
“So a month where fuel prices have stayed broadly the same is welcome news. Given the global oil production situation and the weaker pound all we can really hope for at the moment is some continued price stability on the forecourt.”