UK Diesel Prices Hit Record High

UK Diesel Prices Hit Record High

Elena Petrovski
2 min read

UK Diesel Prices Reach Record High, Igniting Consumer Concerns

Diesel prices have soared to a record high, hitting 152p per liter, putting UK consumers at a disadvantage compared to their EU counterparts. This upward trend has persisted for seven consecutive weeks, posing significant challenges for consumers and businesses alike.

The rationale provided by retailers attributes the escalating prices to the need to offset mounting expenses such as increased interest rates and wages. However, critics have contested this explanation, pointing out a significant surge in profit margins from a modest 3p per liter before the pandemic to the current 16p per liter.

Notably, Italy's Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has expressed apprehensions about the EU's proposal to phase out new gas and diesel cars by 2035. The concerns stem from the potential adverse impact on domestic industries and a heightened reliance on foreign electric vehicle markets, signifying broader implications for the automotive sector.

Looking ahead, the situation may exacerbate further with the implementation of carbon allowances by EU fuel suppliers, projected to potentially escalate diesel prices by up to 54 cents per liter by 2031. This strategic move forms part of the ambitious initiative to curtail greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.

Key Takeaways

  • UK diesel prices surge to 152p per liter, marking a 20p premium over the EU average.
  • Major UK supermarkets exert control over 20% of fuel stations, imposing higher price points for consumers.
  • Retailers' profit margins for diesel spike to 16p per liter from 3p before the pandemic.
  • EU's plan to introduce carbon allowances may result in a potential 54 cents per liter hike in diesel prices by 2031.
  • Italy expresses reservations against the EU's 2035 ban on new gas and diesel vehicles, citing industrial risks.


The pronounced escalation in UK diesel prices, attributed to substantial retailer margins and the dominance of major supermarkets, amplifies economic strain on consumers and raises concerns regarding fuel usage. This trend, in conjunction with the forthcoming EU carbon allowances, foreshadows a shift towards electric vehicles, thereby impacting conventional automotive sectors in both the UK and Italy. Italy's resistance to the EU's 2035 ban underscores apprehensions surrounding industrial viability and reliance on foreign electric vehicle markets. In the short term, consumers confront heightened expenditure, while in the long term, industries must adapt to evolving market dynamics or risk facing obsolescence.

Did You Know?

  • Carbon Allowances:
    • Explanation: Carbon allowances are permits enabling companies to emit specific amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Amid the EU's cap-and-trade system, fuel suppliers will be mandated to procure these permits commencing 2027, aiming to raise costs associated with pollution. Consequently, the expense incurred is transferred to consumers, potentially resulting in elevated fuel prices.
  • Forecourts:
    • Explanation: Within the UK context, "forecourts" refer to the sites where vehicles are refueled, predominantly encompassing petrol or gas stations. The influence wielded by major supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s over these forecourts significantly impacts fuel pricing due to their market dominance.
  • EU's 2035 Ban on New Gas and Diesel Cars:
    • Explanation: The European Union intends to proscribe the sale of fresh gasoline and diesel automobiles by 2035, constituting a pivotal strategy to combat climate change and diminish greenhouse gas emissions. With the objective of expediting the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, Italy's Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, opposes this plan, apprehensive about its potential to detrimentally affect domestic car manufacturing industries and heighten reliance on foreign EV markets.

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