The price of a litre of petrol in Britain has fallen to below £1 per litre for the first time in 15 years with the cost of filling up a tank now £6 cheaper than a month ago, it was revealed today.
The Murco garage on the A435 near Kings Heath, Birmingham, on Tuesday cut the price of unleaded to 99.7p - when seven weeks ago the same litre of petrol typically cost between £1.25 and £1.42 in the UK.
Coronavirus and price war between the Russians and Saudi Arabia has seen the price of a barrel of oil fall by an astonishing 60 per cent since the New Year to an 18-year low of $24.52.
Petrol prices were last at that level in August 2005 on the back of Hurricane Katrina causing damage to oil and refinery operations in the Gulf of Mexico and the southern states of the United States.
An employer at the Murco garage told Birmingham Live that the price of petrol had been cut below £1 per litre on Tuesday, and said it was likely to stay at least as low as that for a while.
He said: 'The pandemic is affecting business because it is limited the number of people who are coming out.'
Wholesaler Costco has also cut the price of petrol to 99.9p-a-litre this week, though this is only available to those who pay an annual fee a membership.
First £1-a-litre fuel in the UK: This Murco filling station on the A435 near Kings Heath in Birmingham cut the price of unleaded to 99.7p per litre on Tuesday
The price of petrol at the Murco station in Birmingham was some 19p-a-litre cheaper than the UK average and down to its lowest level for around 15 years
The FTSE 100 fell this morning after two days of gains as investors gave a mixed reaction to US senators finally passing a big stimulus package to fight coronavirus.
The index of Britain's leading firms was down 169 points or 3 per cent to 5,519 shortly after opening in London today.
At about 11am, it was down slightly less by 88 points or 1.54 per cent to 5,600.
Meanwhile the pound was up slightly against the dollar by 0.24 per cent or 0.0029 at $1.1912 this morning.
The unprecedented $2trillion (£1.7trillion) plan in America had been delayed by wrangling over details, but the falls in Britain mirror another advance on Wall Street being blunted yesterday.
Today, the future for the S&P 500 was down 1.1 per cent, while the Dow Jones future lost 0.8 per cent. Yesterday, the Dow rose 2.4 per cent and the S&P by 1.2 per cent.
It comes after it emerged four Republican senators had baulked at the generous provisions agreed to in the bipartisan deal with the White House.
It came days after two of Britain's major supermarkets have cut petrol prices by a record 12p per litre in a single day as the global coronavirus crisis bites.
Both Morrisons and Asda slashed their unleaded fuel by 12p a litre, and diesel by 8p - down to as low as around £1.04 for petrol, 1.11p for diesel.
Pieces on forecourts nationwide are now at their lowest for years. Yet while the reduction seems a welcome piece of good news, it comes only after petrol stations have been attacked for failing to pass on their wholesale savings to motorists.
The price of a barrel of oil has fallen by an astonishing 60 per cent since the New Year, partly because of an international oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, but largely because the spread of Covid-19 has led to a huge reduction in industrial and other activity globally.
The introduction of sweeping controls on people’s movement, including now in Britain, has also led to a huge fall in consumer demand for petrol. With fewer people going out to work, roads and car parks are visibly much emptier.
There have also been disputed concerns about the risk of virus transmission in using petrol pumps - which can be removed by wearing gloves and cleaning hands.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said in response to the Morrisons and Asda cuts: ‘These unprecedented times are leading to unprecedented price cuts on fuel - the largest single cut from a retailer we’ve ever seen.
‘Drivers can expect to see petrol sold at supermarket forecourts for around 104p per litre as a result of these cuts, a price last seen nearly four years ago. Diesel should drop to around 111p per litre.
‘The price of oil has fallen so far - down to an 18-year low - that it was inevitable that pump prices would eventually follow suit.
‘These savings will directly benefit those people who continue to rely on their vehicles for essential journeys.’
Some drivers had feared that they would catch coronavirus from petrol pumps, but Public Health England said that the pumps 'are no worse than other surfaces'. It comes as workers have been told that they should stay at home amid the coronavirus crisis [File photo]
Supermarket chain Morrisons has cut 12p off the price of a litre of petrol at its filling stations. This means motorists will pay just 116p a litre for petrol and only 118.5p for a litre of diesel [File photo]
But Mr Williams added cautionary notes to the otherwise good news - saying that a price war threatened the survival of smaller independent forecourts, already suffering from their bigger overheads and the slump in trade from even voluntary lockdown.
And he reminded motorists that when filling up with cheap fuel they should remember the new rules, saying: ‘Follow the social distancing guidelines and use disposable gloves when handling pumps.’
And AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said: ‘Such a huge cut in pump prices is very welcome. It is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy outlook.
‘The key benefit of the slashed prices is in reducing costs for deliveries as online and other firms work hard to keep goods moving and consumers supplied.
‘However, we urge drivers to think carefully before making unnecessary road trips that may put them in proximity of other people.’
Announcing the Morrisons price cut yesterday, the chain’s head of fuel Ashley Myers said: ‘We are playing our full part in reducing the cost of living and feeding the nation. This reduction in fuel prices will help motorists to save money at this difficult time.’
Asda had introduced its identical price cut earlier in the day - but a source said that it chose to keep the reduction quiet, to avoid prompting any increase in people out and about as attempts to stop to spread of coronavirus continue.Can I drive, fill up with petrol and get my car serviced? We reveal what motorists need to know during the coronavirus lockdown
With strict restrictions in place to prevent people from leaving homes and gathering in groups, motorists with scheduled car maintenance might wonder if they can still have work carried out on their vehicles.
MOT tests, servicing, repairs, filling up with fuel and collecting motors just purchased will be top of the agenda for owners, especially those deemed critical workers who are relying on their cars.
This is Money explains what the Government has said so far and which services are impacted.
Can I still drive my car? Unless you're using your vehicle for one of the approved reasons, motorists are advised not to use their motors during restrictions for Covid-19
Yes, you're still allowed to use your car, but the government has recommended this should be only for one of a number of approved reasons.
This includes shopping for essentials, travelling to a location to undertake daily exercise, attending a medical appointment, assisting an elderly or vulnerable person, or getting to or from work if you can't work from home.
While there are no current measures in place to shut roads, the Prime Minister has told people not to leave their homes for any other reason than those listed above.
This means it is inadvisable for motorists to take advantage of partially deserted roads just to go for a drive on their own. And anyone caught doing so by police while restrictions are in place could face a fine.Which parts of my car do I need to clean?
With the spread of coronavirus restricting most Britons to home, it's become essential for people to keep their houses scrupulously clean.
However, the same level of attention also needs to be paid to your car if you intend to use it for unavoidable travel requirements.
There are multiple surfaces in vehicles that need special attention - 40 in fact, according to Toyota. They are listed below.
Toyota has put together the following list of 40 areas of the car that should be cleaned to kill germs.
For simplicity the seatbelts are counted as one item and if you carry others in your car, you might have to spend a little longer ensuring each of your passengers can enjoy a factory-fresh ride next time they get into your car.
1. Exterior door handles
2. Frame of door and roof
3. Interior door release
4. Window switches
5. Interior door handle
6. Door pocket
8. Seatbelt clips
9. Seat adjust buttons
10. Steering wheel
11. Horn button
12. Control stalks
13. Driver air vents
15. Power button
16. Gear shift
17. Multimedia screen
18. Central air vents
19. Heating controls
21. Log book
22. Central storage compartment
24. Rear-view mirror
25. Interior lights
26. Grab handle
28. Head rests
29. Seat pockets
30. Rear central tab
31. Fuel cap
32. Wheel valves
33. Boot lid
34. Parcel shelf
35. Boot floor tab
36. Boot close button
37. Bonnet lid
38. Washer cap
40. Oil cap
Can I get my car MOT tested during the coronavirus lockdown? The Government has confirmed a 6-month exemption for owners of cars, motorcycles and vans from March 30
Owners of cars, vans and motorcycles have been granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing from 30 March, the Department for Transport has confirmed.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
It says this will enable drivers and riders to to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.
That means that if you have an MOT due from 30 March 2020, the next test date will be extended by six months.
This measure will be in place for the next 12 months, the DfT confirmed.
However, the statement adds that vehicles must be 'kept in a roadworthy condition', and those found at the controls of unsafe motors can be prosecuted.
See the instruction below for what to check on your car to ensure it's safe to drive.