PETROL prices have fallen but drivers are still facing high bills.
The cost of filling up is at its lowest since February last year, according to research by the AA.
Petrol prices this week are 146.66p a litre on average, down by around 1.5p on last month and 44.87p lower than last July.
That's when fuel hit a record high of 191.53p.
Meanwhile Diesel has fallen 3.5p a litre in the past month and is now 164.61p on average, compared to 168.13p in January.
That's also fallen back from record highs of of 199.07p in July.
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Even though prices have dropped, they're still higher than before the pandemic, the AA said.
Disels is still more expensive than the highest prices seen before Covid of 147.93p per litre.
Meanwhile drivers face a postcode lottery when it comes to fuel costs, with differences of up to 11p a litre between locations just minutes apart.
For example, the AA found that in Rochdale the price of petrol at Asda cost around 143.7p per litre.
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However, in Ashton-under-Lyne, which is just a 27 minute drive away, it cost roughly 132.7p per litre.
In addition, diesel can cost at least 15p a litre more than petrol, despite the price gap between fuels falling at a wholesale level.
Luke Bosdet, spokesman on fuel prices at the AA said: “Like inflation generally, there is a sense of gloom that UK pump prices are over the worst, but filling up the car is still a pretty miserable experience."
“On average, petrol and diesel prices are down to their lowest in over a year.
"But too many drivers can feel that the fuel trade is still taking them for a ride.
“Diesel is dearer than it could be, forecourts in one community get away with charging 10p or more for fuel compared to just 15 minutes down the road in another.
He added that in Northern Ireland "where there is some level of official tracking of pump prices" that drivers are getting a "much better deal".
However, drivers escaped a price hike when fuel duty was frozen for the thirteenth year in a row in the Budget – AND 5p cut to the tax last year has been kept.
In a double win for The Sun's Keep it Down campaign, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told MPs he wanted to protect hard-pressed drivers in his first proper Budget.
It means drivers have been spared a feared 12p rise – a combination of the end of the cut and an inflationary rise.
Fuel duty taxes have been frozen at 57.95p since March 2011, but then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p cut last year as prices soared to new record highs.
The 12-month measure was due to last until the end of March.
How can I cut fuel costs?
There are ways to save an extra 5p per litre if you sign up for major supermarket loyalty schemes.
Esso has partnered with Nectar for its loyalty scheme and you can get 5p off a litre when you swap 300 Nectar points.
Drivers with a BPme rewards card will get one point for every £1 they spend in-store or on a litre of regular fuel at a BP garage.
Motorists will get £1 off their fuel or shopping for every 200 points.
Texaco, Shell, Sainsbury's and Tesco loyalty card holders can also get money off their bills.
You can also cut fuel costs by driving more efficiently. This can be achieved by:
- Accelerating gradually without over-revving
- Always driving in the highest possible gear
- Allowing your car to slow down naturally as your brake
There are also sites you can use to help you find the cheapest petrol prices near you, like PetrolPrices.com and Confused.com.
These allow you to search the prices of UK petrol stations. All you need to do is enter your postcode and tell it how far you want to travel (up to 20 miles).
It's also so easy to forget about the clutter building up in your car – whether it's tools, kids' toys or general rubbish.
However, additional storage space can increase fuel costs by a whopping 12%.
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So, don't forget to do a car clearout every now and then.
And, if you're driving at a slower speed, think about taking the roof rack off and switching off the air-con to save on running costs.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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