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Road fuel prices in the UK - statistics & facts

Gasoline and diesel fuel are the motor fuels most commonly used to power road vehicles in the United Kingdom. Gasoline (sold as unleaded) and diesel fuel are refined petroleum products and as such their prices are intrinsically linked to crude oil price development and oil demand worldwide. In the UK, gasoline is most often sold as unleaded 95 octane (referring to the research octane number (RON)), also known as regular unleaded across Europe; or as super unleaded, which has a minimum of 97 RON. The octane rating indicates fuel compressibility and engine performance. Meanwhile, diesel fuel is used for compression-ignition engines.

Coronavirus impact on motor fuel prices

As a result of falling oil demand during the coronavirus pandemic, fuel prices have declined dramatically in 2020. On average, unleaded 95 octane in the UK sold for less than 110 pence per liter in both May and June of that year, while supermarket prices of unleaded fell as low as 100 pence per liter. This was nearly as low as the price slump recorded during the oil glut in late 2015 and early 2016. By February 2021, prices had slowly climbed again to over 120 pence per liter.

Price variances by region

The most expensive fuel prices were recorded in the country’s capital. In the first six months of 2021, diesel prices in London ranged from 122 pence to 134 pence per liter. Meanwhile, the average price of various fuels in Scotland closely mirrored the UK average, whereas across the Irish Sea in Northern Ireland super unleaded prices were less than what Londoners paid for diesel.

Taxation shares decreased in 2020

The taxation share of unleaded fuel amounted to 64 percent in 2020 and 62 percent of end consumer diesel prices.

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