Consumers battling the cold and the credit crunch have received some mid-winter cheer – the AA reports that the price of petrol has reached a three-year low.
The average cost of petrol at the beginning of this week was 87.79p a litre compared with 88.27p at the end of December 2005.
Diesel is now averaging 99.72p a litre – the lowest price since November 2007.
Which? has a free guide to finding the cheapest petrol near to where you live.
Cost of petrol
With petrol hitting a record high of 119.7p a litre in July this year, a UK driver is on average now paying nearly £16 less to fill up a typical 50-litre tank than during this last summer.
A family with two petrol cars is now spending £68.39 less a month on fuel.
The AA said new retail fuel sales figures released by the government showed that petrol sales in July-September 2008 – the period of peak prices – fell by 8.2% cent compared to the same time last year.
Retail sales of diesel rose 1.8% in the same period, reflecting the desperate attempts of hard-pressed UK drivers to switch to more fuel-efficient cars and reduce their costs.
The AA added that the figures appeared to show that many drivers drifted away from supermarkets to buy their petrol elsewhere during the period of peak fuel prices this summer. Localised price-matching strategies produced uniform pump prices across many towns, reducing the incentive for drivers to go to traditionally cheaper supermarkets.
In the period April-June 2008, compared with the same time last year, supermarket sales of petrol were 0.6% down while non-supermarket retailers sold 7.8% less. However, in July-September 2008 when petrol and diesel prices reached record highs, supermarkets sold 7.1% less petrol compared to the same time last year while non-supermarket sales fell only slightly more to 9.1%.
© Press Association 2008
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