Scotland saw largest forecourt increases in July however still one of cheapest regions in UK

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Scotland saw the largest increase in petrol and diesel at the forecourts last month however it remains one of the cheapest regions in the UK to fill up.

RAC Fuel Watch data has revealed the price of an average litre of unleaded at Scottish forecourts was up 1.82p to 126.85p, while diesel was up 1.53p to 132.1p.

Across the UK, it now costs drivers on average £70.84 to fill up a 55-litre family-sized petrol car (up 59p on June), and £72.52 for a similar diesel model (up 57p on June).

Supermarkets increased their prices the most in July, largely cancelling out the price cuts that they introduced just a few weeks earlier in June.

There is a high degree of volatility in wholesale fuel prices at the moment, as a result of the sharply fluctuating oil price which, after starting the month at just under $77 a barrel, fell to $70 on 17th July before recovering again to $74 by the end of month.

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “July saw a return to rising prices at the UK’s forecourts, following some price cuts in the previous month – the roller coaster effect of rising and falling prices that drivers will have witnessed in recent months is certainly in full swing.

“The volatility of the price of a barrel of oil, and in turn wholesale fuel prices, makes it difficult to determine where prices might go next. The announcement in June by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that its member countries would be increasing oil production could have been a trigger for further price falls, but the complicated disagreements between the United States – another big oil producer – and Iran and China are making prices go the other way. The result is a great deal of uncertainty on what might happen with UK fuel prices in the coming weeks.

“Fortunately for UK drivers, the pound remained stable against the US dollar – which is important as fuel, like oil, is traded in dollars. A weakening pound means it costs more for retailers to buy fuel in, which in turn tends to mean higher prices at the pumps.

“What is certain however is how much more expensive it is to fill up a car this summer compared to last year. At the end of July 2018 it cost £7.50 (12%) more to fill a 55-litre unleaded fuel tank compared to the same point in 2017, and £8.77 (14%) more to fill an equivalent diesel.”