Northern Ireland

NI cheapest place to fill fuel tank in UK

Petrol pump Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Data gathered by breakdown-cover provider, the RAC, shows prices in Northern Ireland were the lowest in the UK in December

Prices at the petrol (and diesel) pump may be at their highest since July 2015, but Northern Ireland is the UK's cheapest place to fill a fuel tank.

Wholesale costs of both fuels have risen significantly.

This is partly due to the impact of an agreement by the Opec group of oil producing nations to cut output.

But prices seem to be rising more slowly in Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK, partly due to increased competition, experts say.

Data gathered by breakdown-cover provider, the RAC, showed prices in Northern Ireland were the lowest in the UK in December.

The average cost of unleaded petrol was 117.23p per litre at the end of the month, with diesel reaching 119.63p, said the RAC.

The petrol price reflected a 2.99p increase and the diesel price a 3.07p rise on average.

But in Northern Ireland, average petrol prices rose by only 1.9p during December, and diesel rose by 2.71p in the same period.

Healthy competition in Northern Ireland helped keep fuel prices lower, said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

"Northern Ireland is the cheapest place to buy fuel and does well month-on-month in our figures because of the competition here," he told BBC News NI.

"There are proportionally more fuel retailers and more fuel distributors here than in the rest of the UK - that's kept the prices down so far."

But Mr Williams also warned how difficult it was to predict how further rises would impact on fuel prices.

"It is incredibly difficult to predict how much prices will be affected in the future," he said.

Image copyright Facebook/Eamon Gormley

And it can be equally difficult to know where to go to get the best price.

According to Petrolprices.com, the cheapest town to fill up in is Cookstown, with an average price over the last week of 112.7p per litre of unleaded petrol.

The most expensive price for petrol they found was more than 7p more expensive per litre.

Image copyright Twittet/Ian Singleton

Jason Lloyd, Managing Director of PetrolPrices.com said: "These price differences make a huge difference when added up over the year and the spread, or difference between the most expensive and cheapest fuel, is evident in every town and city across Northern Ireland as well as the entire UK.

"That means that there are cheaper alternatives in every town - so it's about monitoring prices yourself, or using a service like ours to make sure you are getting the best deal in your area."

BBC News NI asked you where you found the cheapest prices at the pump. and no one has spotted a cheaper price than 112.7p per litre.

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