Where is the cheapest place for fuel in the UK?

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 17 Feb 2015

Why do fuel prices vary?

The cost of fuel has continued to fall with unleaded petrol now priced as low as 103p per litre in some UK regions.

Despite the cheapest prices nearing £1 per litre, the UK average is still 107.4p for a litre of unleaded thanks to varying fuel prices across different regions.

So where is cheapest to fill up your bike? Well, we’ve taken a snapshot of prices as they are today, Tuesday 17th February, and our findings suggest the cheapest average price for a litre of unleaded petrol in the UK can be found in Wigan at 104.3p – don’t forget, that’s the cheapest average price for the Wigan area and not the absolute cheapest price. 

By comparison, the most expensive place is Enfield, North London where a litre of unleaded will set you back 111.9p on average.

The split is fairly even with the cost of fuel above the UK average in 48 regions and below the in 49, with just two regions sat at the exact average cost.

The difference in price across the UK is believed to be the result of the level of competition in each specific area, with petrol stations in larger cities forced to charge less in order to compete with rival garages and supermarkets which are able to take a hit on fuel to push their other products.

An example of this is seen when comparing Nottingham and Derby. The two cities sit just 15 miles apart but on the list of average UK fuel prices, Derby is the 3rd most expensive at 110.57p per litre. The average cost of fuel in Nottingham is some four pence cheaper at 106.26p per litre. Derby has a population of 250,000 while Nottingham, when including the suburbs, is home to over 700,000 people.


Read more:


But the AA think it’s more than just the level of competition, they think one retailer in particular has played a significant role in driving down the cost of fuel.

“The problem of fuel price variation isn’t so much regional as between towns, depending on the mix of retailers,” said the AA’s Luke Bosdet.

“Even the presence of one or two supermarkets doesn’t guarantee cheap pump prices. Apart from the occasional maverick independent retailer, the rule of thumb is whether or not a town has an Asda fuel station or not.

“A trip up the A33 from Basingstoke to Reading (18 miles) today finds supermarket petrol in Basingstoke at 106.9p a litre, 104.9p at the midway point (BP independent) and 103.7p in south Reading (Asda).

“Generally, the small rural towns have been paying 3p to 5p a litre more for petrol than in an Asda town. As a consequence, more rural regions tend to suffer from higher average prices, such as Northern Ireland, Scotland and East Anglia. Yorkshire and Humberside is very often the cheapest – but then it is Asda heartland.”

Asda stores near DerbySo to find the cheapest fuel in the UK do we just need to follow signs to the nearest Asda? Let’s take a look: The three most expensive places for fuel in the UK are Enfield, Northampton and Derby. Each of these towns has just two Asda stores close by. In comparison, Wigan and Wolverhampton – the two places cheapest for fuel in the UK – have up to 20 Asda stores both in the towns themselves and in neighbouring areas. This would suggest that the AA is right, areas with a higher concentration of Asda Supermarkets have cheaper fuel prices. How bizarre?

Asda in WolverhamptonWe got in touch with Asda to see what they had to say about their surprising control over fuel prices in the UK: Asda has led the way with fuel price cuts as soon as oil prices have dropped, and over the past four months the price of unleaded and diesel purchased from the supermarket has fallen by 23ppl and 19ppl respectively, putting much needed cash back in motorists’ pockets,” said the Supermarket giant’s Press Office Manager.

“Whilst other supermarkets will follow the fuel price drop, Asda is the only retailer that has a national price cap on fuel at all 245 filling stations, ensuring every single one of our customers knows the maximum price they will pay at the pump regardless of where they live.

How does your local town fare? Here’s a list of average fuel prices across the UK:

Wigan

104.35

Wolverhampton

104.9

Swindon

105.37

Brighton

105.42

Darlington

105.5

Doncaster

105.5

Romford

105.55

Hull

105.62

Glasgow

105.64

Swansea

105.89

Carlisle

105.9

Watford

105.9

Cleveland

106.03

Dartford

106.07

Leeds

106.1

Edinburgh

106.18

Wakefield

106.22

Blackpool

106.23

Motherwell

106.23

Bristol

106.25

Preston

106.25

Nottingham

106.26

Canterbury

106.3

Southend-on-Sea

106.3

Portsmouth

106.37

St Albans

106.4

Hemel Hempstead

106.41

Salisbury

106.58

Dudley

106.59

Twickenham

106.59

Reading

106.64

Norwich

106.65

Bolton

106.66

Birmingham

106.68

Dorchester

106.8

London SE

106.9

Torquay

106.9

Bournemouth

106.97

Rochester

107.03

Sheffield

107.06

Plymouth

107.07

Bradford

107.1

Peterborough

107.15

Aberdeen

107.16

London N

107.19

Stevenage

107.25

Paisley

107.26

London E

107.28

Oxford

107.38

Hereford

107.4

Southall

107.4

London NW

107.43

Newcastle upon Tyne

107.45

Guildford

107.51

Colchester

107.58

Coventry

107.65

Manchester

107.66

Slough

107.67

Stockport

107.7

Truro

107.72

Southampton

107.78

Telford

107.85

Chelmsford

107.9

Chester

107.9

Croydon

107.9

Luton

107.9

Cardiff

107.93

Gloucester

108.07

Ilford

108.14

York

108.15

Kilmarnock

108.17

Walsall

108.18

Redhill

108.19

Ipswich

108.22

Llandudno

108.23

Crewe

108.26

Bath

108.33

Milton Keynes

108.33

London W

108.4

Sutton

108.4

Taunton

108.4

Kingston upon Thames

108.5

Exeter

108.55

Cambridge

108.57

Bromley

108.9

Northern Ireland

108.9

Tonbridge

109.04

Lincoln

109.07

Newport

109.17

Stoke-on-Trent

109.23

Leicester

109.28

Warrington

109.47

London SW

109.7

Dumfries

109.9

Harrogate

109.9

Shrewsbury

109.92

Derby

110.57

Northampton

110.9

Enfield

111.9

Latest Advice
  • One owner from new and it
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - One Owner Emerging Classics
  • The Good, Bad and Ugly of Suzuki Katana
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Suzuki Katana
  • ZZR600
    Grand Designs part eight - meet the organ donor
  • Honda RC30
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - old bikes that are new