A slump in wholesale fuel costs means drivers could be given relief from record pump prices.

The AA said latest trade figures show petrol wholesale costs have fallen to 67.7p per litre, down from 75.8p per litre at the start of the week.

Wholesale diesel costs have fallen from 89.8p per litre to 77.3p per litre over the same period.

Oil prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to higher wholesale costs for fuel retailers.

The price per barrel of Brent crude, the most commonly used way of measuring the UK’s oil price, reached 139 US dollars on Monday, which was its highest level in 14 years.


But the price plummeted to 109 US dollars on Wednesday, and remains near that level.

Subsequent reductions in wholesale fuel costs “offer the hope that pump prices may now level off and hopefully fall”, AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said.

He went on: “Ironically, motorists rushing to fill up and beat pump price surges the weekend before last may have accelerated pump price rises, as stock turned over faster than normal and higher costs worked their way through to the pump sooner than normal.

“The squeeze on the finances of families with cars continues but the apocalyptic pump price predictions seem much less likely to happen.”

Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts on Thursday was a record 161.1p.


This is up 5.5p since Sunday, adding £3 to the cost of filling a 55-litre family car.

Average diesel prices reached a new high of 170.1p per litre on Thursday.

The 8.8p increased compared with Sunday’s price means a full tank for a typical 80-litre transit van is £7 more expensive.

Support is growing for a petition calling for fuel duty and VAT on fuel to be reduced by 40% for two years.

Nearly 50,000 people have signed the petition posted on the UK Government and Parliament website.

The Irish Government reduced excise duty on fuel on Thursday.

A cut of 20 cents per litre on petrol and 15 cents per litre on diesel will be in place until the end of August.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “If the Chancellor is looking for ways to help with soaring household bills then an obvious option would be to follow the example set in Ireland and cut the rate of fuel duty to ease the burden of soaring pump prices.

“That would directly benefit the three quarters or so of households that run a car and indirectly help us all by reducing the rising fuel cost pressure on businesses and hauliers that will otherwise inevitably make its way to higher prices on the shelves for consumers.

“Over recent weeks the Chancellor’s tax take from drivers will have risen because VAT is levied as a percentage of the pump price of fuel – including the duty element – so it is not unreasonable to suggest he gives something back whilst domestic budgets are being squeezed so hard.”