Fuel price recovery: Wales sees second largest decrease in fuel costs, new study reveals

The cost of fuel has seen a whopping downward trend this summer, following a challenging year of rising commodity prices amidst the cost of living crisis.

Despite this, “pump-price postcode lottery” continues to prevail, with fuel prices differing significantly when only mere miles apart.

The finance experts at Moneyzine sought to uncover which UK region has been most successful in recovering their fuel prices – by comparing the average change in costs from 2022 to 2023.

The UK regions with the quickest decrease in fuel prices
Region Fuel price increase 2022 Average fuel price PPL* [07/22 – 12/22] Average fuel price PPL* [01/23 – 05/23] Fuel Price Decrease %
Northern Ireland 21.23% 178.44 154.04 -13.70%
Wales 20.00% 182.27 151.96 -12.63%
North East of England 19.94% 182.24 159.70 -12.42%
Scotland 19.74% 182.23 159.73 -12.40%
North West of England 19.47% 181.53 159.89 -11.97%
West Midlands 20.33% 183.62 161.93 -11.87%
East of England 20.26% 183.79 162.61 -11.59%
Yorkshire and the Humber 20.20% 183.57 162.48 -11.56%
East Midlands 20.32% 183.85 162.80 -11.42%
South West of England 19.95% 182.14 161.44 -11.41%
South East of England 19.84% 184.05 163.33 -11.32%
London 19.87% 183.94 163.39 -11.06%

*The breakdown of PPL fuel prices by Diesel, unleaded and super unleaded can be found, here

Northern Ireland has had the largest recovery of fuel prices.

The study revealed Northern Ireland to be most successful in recovering their fuel prices. Following a 21.23% surge in 2022, average fuel prices in Northern Ireland have since decreased by a significant 13.70% to 154.04 PPL as of May 2023.

Wales has seen the second largest decrease of average fuel prices with a 12.63% recovery on the region’s elevated 2022 average price. Amongst the Welsh counties, Monmouthshire saw the highest rise, however, has recovered the slowest, seeing just a 13.43% decrease (156.01 PPL) so far this year.

Ranking third is Northeast England, with a 12.42% decrease in fuel prices this year – the largest decrease in England. Amongst the Northeast counties, Durham’s fuel prices have recovered the quickest, with a 12.94% decrease so far this year.

London has had the slowest recovery of fuel prices in the UK.

Having left 2022 with an average of 183.94 PPL, London’s fuel prices have been the slowest to return to pre-surge levels, with a decrease of just 11.06% so far this year.

Jonathan Merry, personal finance expert at Moneyzine, offers his tips on finding the cheapest fuel:

Fill up in off peak hours

Opting for weekdays or non-peak hours to fill up can often secure more favourable prices.

Download fuel comparison apps

Downloading reliable apps and checking websites can provide real-time updates on fuel pricing in your area, allowing you to make informed decisions.

Join a loyalty program

Consider joining fuel station loyalty programs, these often provide discounted rates and special promotions for cardholders.

Keep an eye on fuel pricing in your area

Local prices are varying a lot at the moment, factors like competition, refinery proximity, and transportation costs can influence fuel prices significantly.