UK drivers forced to stay at home this Christmas due to fuel prices

Woolwich resident says petrol prices are 'astronomical' in July

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New data has shown that one-quarter of drivers in the UK are spending less on fuel with fuel prices increasing by more than 25 percent in the past year (October 2021 to 2022), adding £28 to the cost of an average tank. The cost-of-living crisis is set to cause heartbreak for UK families as more than one in three (39 percent) Britons plan to stay home rather than visiting family or friends in order to save money on fuel.

For those who do venture out, most aren’t going far. One-third will slash their journey times by only visiting friends or relatives closer to home, rather than making long, festive journeys across the country.

But sadly, it’s not just fuel spending being reduced, the drain on festivities worsens as 44 percent of adults expect to buy fewer or lower-priced presents this year with 34 percent also axing activities like Christmas parties, pub visits or trips to the cinema.

Almost a quarter of survey respondents said they would opt to use public transport to see their friends and family over the winter holidays.

However, ongoing rail strikes could put a premature end to these plans, with many being forced to seek alternative ways to travel.

Dave Timmis, Founder, CEO of, said the data paints an upsetting picture, highlighting the impact of the cost of living crisis.

He said: “Christmas is a time for family and friends, yet sadly, we’re seeing many people disrupted in their plans and traditions by rising costs.

“I’m sure that, despite the challenges, Brits will make Christmas as magical as always. But we sincerely hope families and friends can reconnect and celebrate as soon as possible.”

Whilst fuel is a crunch point for many, EV drivers will also struggle this year as energy prices are on the rise with the national grid preparing emergency strategies to reduce energy usage at peak times.

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Dave added: “For those who drive EVs, we advise charging your vehicle outside of peak hours and if possible, overnight, as many energy providers offer a reduced rate for overnight energy usage.

“Alternatively, some public car parks and supermarkets offer free charging, so if you can plug in for free during your Christmas shop, it may save you a few pounds.” 

The RAC has consistently called on major retailers to slash their fuel prices, to match the falling cost of global wholesale oil prices.

Last week, Asda cut fuel prices at an average of 4.5p per litre of petrol and around 5.5p off diesel.

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Reacting to the news, Simon Williams, praised Asda for cutting prices, but added that the retailer and other supermarkets need to do more.

He said: “The fact these price cuts have been made so quietly is surely an admission that they should have come much sooner.

“Asda is now charging an average of 153.5p for petrol and 176.7p for diesel which is around 2p less than its rivals. 

“We urge the other three supermarkets to catch up quickly – or go even further – and give drivers some much-needed relief from high prices next time they fill up. 

“If they do, this will bring the UK average petrol price down from its current 157.8p which benefits drivers everywhere.

“Despite these reductions, our analysis of wholesale data shows this should really be just the beginning as there’s easily scope for another 10p a litre to come off the current average price of both petrol and diesel.”

Since then, average prices have continued to fall, with the latest estimates showing all fuel types should continue to “fall sharply”.

Unleaded is on average 153.71p per litre, super unleaded is just shy of £1.70 and diesel remains the most expensive at 176.78p per litre.

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