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2022 has been the “most volatile year for fuel prices since reliable records began” says CMA



2022 has been the “most volatile year for fuel prices since reliable records began” according to the latest research from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).


In an update to its Road Fuel Market Study, which was launched in July to see whether a cut in fuel duty had been passed on to drivers, the CMA noted that “prices rose by around 50p a litre from January to July, the largest leap in fuel prices ever recorded in one year, before falling by 31p for petrol and 14p for diesel since”.

It has also uncovered “some evidence of rocket and feather” price movements this year particularly in relation to diesel. The CMA said it will investigate this further.


It will also further investigate “the growing the difference between the price retailers paid for fuel and the pump price (the “fuel margin”)” which “rose by the equivalent of 2-3p a litre on diesel and 3-4p a litre on petrol".


The CMA says this could be accounted for by “other cost rises for retailers or weaker competition on fuel”.

Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: “This news will come as little surprise to the drivers of the nation’s 33 million petrol and diesel cars who are trying to juggle household budgets that are being stretched in every direction.


“The good news is that wholesale prices have declined in the last few weeks, though we are yet to see that fully reflected at the pumps. However, even if the cost of filling up at the forecourt does fall back the relative price gap between petrol and diesel looks likely to remain.”


Sarah Cardell, interim Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “It has been a terrible year for drivers, with filling up a vehicle now a moment of dread for many. The disruption of imports from Russia means that diesel drivers, in particular, are paying a substantial premium because of the invasion of Ukraine. A weaker pound is contributing to higher prices across the board too.”

The price of Brent crude oil is currently around $80 a barrel, well below the $120 or so seen earlier in 2022 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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