NI has UK’s lowest pump prices – but the fastest rising

NI has UK’s lowest pump prices – but the fastest rising

Northern Ireland has recorded the largest increase in pump prices with the average cost of a litre of petrol rising 1.74p to 143.55p and diesel up 1.83p to 146.31p, according to RAC Fuel Watch figures.

However, Northern Ireland remains the cheapest place to fill up by some margin, the RAC said, with drivers in the south eat of England paying on average 147.66p per litre for petrol (up 1.18p in January), and 151.07p for diesel (up 0.63p through last month).

The RAC has welcomed news that the UK Government will consider introducing a Pumpwatch monitor to ensure fair prices at the pumps.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps said he would consider the proposal made by Harlow MP Robert Halfon who said it would “stop greedy oil companies ripping off motorists at the petrol pumps – by failing to reduce pump prices, even when the international oil price falls.”

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “With the cost of living rising so sharply it’s more important than ever that drivers – many of whom depend on their vehicles – are charged a fair price when they fill up.

At the end of last year, we witnessed sharp practices by some of the biggest fuel retailers that led to petrol car drivers paying a collective £5m more a day than they should have done. We can’t be in the same situation again, so we welcome the Government’s pledge to keep a closer eye on things to ensure motorists are protected.”

The RAC said drivers are finally being charged a fairer price at the pumps despite petrol and diesel prices edging up again through January.

The increase in the cost of a barrel of oil last month – up from $79 a barrel at the start of January to more than $92 at the end – pushed up wholesale petrol and diesel prices by 4.9p and 3.6p a litre respectively.

For drivers however, pump prices rose by less than a penny for each fuel as retailers absorbed the cost increases with the average cost of a litre of unleaded now standing at 146.45p and diesel at 149.81p. This means the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car with petrol is now £80.55 and with diesel £82.40, the RAC said.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch showed that the average margin made by retailers on a litre of petrol stood at 11.4p, down from 16.4p in December.. The RAC said that while this is still significantly higher than the long-term average of around 6p, it’s a step in the right direction in delivering better value for drivers when they fill up. The average margin on a litre of diesel is now back to more normal levels at 8p, down from 12p in December.

Last month’s slight pump price reductions are in sharp contrast to the last month of 2021 when petrol fell by just 2p a litre, despite RAC analysis showing that average prices should have fallen by nearer 12p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “At long last, retailers appear to have heard our clarion calls for drivers to be charged a fairer price at the pumps – something that is so important as the effect of high inflation bites and households up and down the country brace themselves for what looks like an inevitable cost of living squeeze.

“On average, retailers are now making a more normal profit for each litre of fuel they sell than they did in December which makes today’s pump prices – although up slightly on December – more justified.

“Storm clouds are gathering, however. With oil now having traded above $90 for a week – the highest price for more than seven years, wholesale fuel costs are once again increasing, which will undoubtedly lead to retailers putting up forecourt prices.

“Our message to the biggest retailers, which lead the market, is to treat drivers with respect by fairly reflecting the movement in the wholesale fuel market and not taking overly high margins. If they were to increase their margin and hike prices beyond what’s justified it would be devastating for hard-pressed drivers. We’ll be watching pump prices closely in the coming weeks to ensure drivers aren’t taken advantage of, so it’s safe to say the coming weeks will be a big test of pricing transparency for retailers

“Any driver thinking of changing their vehicle would do well to consider an electric model given the high fuel prices. To help drivers make the switch affordably we’re offering competitive EV leasing deals and a great value EV home charging tariff which can be fixed until June 2023 and currently costs just 6p per kilowatt hour overnight.”

Regional pump prices compared


Unleaded 01/01/2022 31/01/2022 Change
UK average 145.69 146.45 0.76
East 146.24 147.08 0.84
East Midlands 145.75 146.34 0.59
London 146.35 147.04 0.69
North East 144.93 145.17 0.24
North West 145.41 146.31 0.90
Northern Ireland 141.81 143.55 1.74
Scotland 145.49 146.13 0.64
South East 146.78 147.66 0.88
South West 145.33 146.51 1.18
Wales 144.53 145.69 1.16
West Midlands 145.06 146.06 1.00
Yorkshire and the Humber 144.67 145.73 1.06



Diesel 01/01/2022 31/01/2022 Change
UK average 149.24 149.81 0.57
East 149.93 150.38 0.45
East Midlands 149.08 149.65 0.57
London 149.45 150.28 0.83
North East 148.46 149.00 0.54
North West 148.95 149.42 0.47
Northern Ireland 144.48 146.31 1.83
Scotland 149.11 149.89 0.78
South East 150.44 151.07 0.63
South West 149.39 150.24 0.85
Wales 148.59 149.39 0.80
West Midlands 148.91 149.74 0.83
Yorkshire and the Humber 148.78 149.65 0.87


Find out more about UK petrol and diesel prices on the RAC website.