RAC says Northern Ireland's fuel prices remain high, despite reduction to diesel and petrol costs

Fuel prices in Northern Ireland remain high, further reductions in the month of February. Credit: PA

The RAC has described the price of diesel as "needlessly high" during the cost-of-living crisis.

At the end of February, the average price of diesel in Northern Ireland was 159.29p per litre and petrol was priced at 144.59p per litre.

Despite these prices falling for the fourth consecutive month, the RAC insists that the cost of diesel remains well above wholesale prices.

There is currently just 6p difference between wholesale petrol and diesel prices, however according to the RAC the significantly higher prices of diesel at the pump means that diesel car drivers are paying around £7 more per tank.

High fuel costs are likely to continue if the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt decides to keep the 5p duty cut put in place a year ago and cancel the annual planned hike at the Spring Budget on 15 March.If the duty cut was to be removed as originally planned, the RAC says current petrol prices would rise to 153.72p and diesel to 173.19p when factoring in VAT.

The full breakdown of regional fuel prices in Northern Ireland can be found here.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “A reduction in pump prices would normally be extremely welcome news for drivers, not least in a cost-of-living crisis that is making the price of so many everyday items and services much more expensive than normal.

"While our analysis shows drivers of petrol cars are paying a fair price at the pumps, the same sadly can’t be said for anyone whose vehicle runs on diesel.

“Retailers really ought to demonstrate they’re on the side of drivers by cutting their diesel prices now – not least as the wholesale price is on a par with where it was 12 months ago, yet the price they’re charging drivers at the pumps remains needlessly high.

“All eyes are now on what the Chancellor decides to do with fuel duty at the Budget in just two weeks’ time. While we accept the 5p cut introduced last year can’t last forever, with household finances under even more pressure this Spring than they were a year ago, we don’t think now is the time to be removing it.

“To decide to raise prices by 5p on both fuels would prove punishing to households and businesses struggling to make ends meet, and may have a detrimental effect on both inflation – which the Government is desperate to bring down – and the wider economy. In the case of diesel, it would also mean the UK has the highest fuel duty rate in the whole of Europe.

“We also hope Mr Hunt isn’t about to become the first Chancellor in 12 years not to cancel the annual planned fuel duty rise. If he were to go ahead with it, untold damage could be caused.”

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