Rising fuel prices hit Lancashire drivers hard

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Fuel prices in the north west have risen by more than 7p in just one year, according to new figures, with drivers in the Ribble Valley and Pendle the worst hit.

According to the new figures, diesel drivers are bearing the brunt of the increases, as the average cost per litre has increased to 130.1p – up a whopping 7.6p year-on-year. This is equivalent to £74 to fill up a medium-sized car.

Fuel prices in the north west have risen dramatically, with diesel up more than 7p a litre in the last year

Fuel prices in the north west have risen dramatically, with diesel up more than 7p a litre in the last year

Similarly, petrol prices across the North West are increasing, with the cost of petrol now at 120.6p, on average – 1.2p more expensive than 12 months ago. This means the average price of filling a medium-sized tank could cost drivers £69.

While both petrol and diesel costs have gone up, the gap between the two has widened dramatically over the last 12 months. There is now a 9.5p difference in the cost per litre, compared to only 3.1p this time last year. This equates to a £5 difference in the price of filling a medium-sized tank of petrol and diesel, compared to £2 12 months ago.

According to Confused.com’s fuel price index, petrol drivers in Ribble Valley might be groaning on their next trip to the fuel station, as the area saw the steepest increase in prices, which are now 1.8p more expensive than one week ago – with the average price per litre now costing 121.7p. And diesel prices in Pendle have increased at the fastest rate, climbing by 1.3p in one week to 130p per litre, on average.

It is a similar picture across the UK, as the average price of fuel reaches its highest yet in 2019, following months of consecutive increases. According to the data, the current price of petrol climbed to 122p per litre, on average – an 0.8p increase week-on-week – and diesel reached 130.6p – up 0.2p in the same period. March saw the first month-on-month increase since October 2018. The cost of fuel increased by 1p on average, with diesel climbing to 130p per litre and petrol to 121p.

These increasing fuel prices seems to be having a serious effect on UK motorists. Almost one in three (32 per cent) say it’s making it less affordable to run a car. And more than half (54 per cent) have noticed they get fewer miles for their money.

The average amount spent per trip to the pumps costs motorists £32, on average. This is not enough to fill a small car (42L), which costs £51 for petrol and £55 for diesel, on average. With this in mind, one in eight (12 per cent) UK drivers admit they can’t afford to fill up their car regularly. And more than a third (36 per cent) are calling for fuel to be made more affordable.

Meanwhile, many motorists would be willing to ditch petrol and diesel altogether in order to cut back on their fuel spending. Almost half (49 per cent) would buy an electric vehicle (EV) for their next car. However, of the remaining 51 per cent who wouldn’t, 61 per cent say the hefty price tag of an EV still puts them off, while 60% bemoan a lack of charging points.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “Fuel prices across the North West are increasing and showing little sign of slowing down. And this is the same for the rest of the UK. Just when we thought we were out of the woods - fuel prices start to go up again. No wonder drivers are confused. It’s typical that this is happening at a time when the UK is about to enter economic uncertainty.

“But in the long run, motorists should be doing all they can to save on fuel costs.”