Petrol Prices

January 10th, 2011 by andylockran Leave a reply »

I was recently conversing about the increase in petrol prices, and lamenting the fact that the generation before me had it so much better. With prices now heading over £1.30/litre, the % increase since I began driving in 2003 (when petrol was 80p/litre) seems extremely high.

I thought it would be a sensible idea to trawl the internet for hard statistics, and after failing to get the data I needed from Wolfram Alpha, I did a quick google and found http://www.speedlimit.org.uk/petrolprices.html, which contained the table below:

Petrol Prices 1983-2010

Year Price per Litre (p) Price per Gallon (£) Retail
Prices
Index
Petrol Price
in constant terms
(1983=100)
5-year
% increase ¶
1983 36.7 1.670 83.1 100.0
1984 38.7 1.759 87.5 100.0
1985 42.8 1.946 92.8 104.3
1986 38.2 1.737 96.7 89.4
1987 37.8 1.719 100.6 85.0
1988 34.7 1.578 104.1 75.4 -5.5
1989 38.4 1.746 112.3 77.4 -0.7
1990 40.2 1.828 121.4 74.9 -6.1
1991 39.5 1.796 131.4 68.0 3.4
1992 40.3 1.832 136.7 66.7 6.6
1993 45.9 2.087 139.3 74.6 32.3
1994 48.9 2.223 133.1 77.6 27.3
1995 50.9 2.314 147.5 78.1 26.6
1996 52.9 2.405 151.5 79.0 33.9
1997 57.9 2.632 155.4 84.3 43.7
1998 60.9 2.769 160.8 85.7 32.7
1999 61.9 2.814 164.1 85.3 26.6
2000 76.9 3.496 168.4 103.3 51.1
2001 77.9 3.541 173.1 101.8 47.2
2002 69.9 3.178 174.5 90.6 20.7
2003 77.9 3.541 179.9 98.0 27.9
2004 77.9 3.541 184.6 95.5 25.8
2005 79.9 3.632 190.5 95.0 3.9
2006 88.9 4.041 195.0 103.2 14.1
2007 87.9 3.996 204.4 97.4 25.6
2008 103.9 4.723 212.1 110.9 33.4
2009 89.9 4.087 211.3 96.2 15.4
2010 111.9 5.087 220.7 114.8 40.1

¶ Note: this column represents the % increase over 5 years in the non inflation adjusted petrol price.

(Last updated April 2010)

Using the index column (where 1983=100) I worked out the following graph:

I’d need to do more analysis before I work out exactly what this means. Though it clearly shows the price of petrol increasing, because we’re around the ’100′ index, in real-terms we’re no worse off than we were in 1983 (though the trend would suggest we’re going to be worse of pretty soon) – and is the RPI the best value to make the calculations against?

I’d be interested to hear if anyone can shed more light on these statistics. Please leave your comments below.

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  • http://twitter.com/fishter_uk Graeme Hilton

    You could replot the data with the last data point being whatever price you happen to see at your local petrol station. I drive a diesel car, so I don’t follow the unleaded prices, but diesel is up to 131.9 or more at all the local petrol stations. Unleaded is usually a few pence less.