It doesn't seem that long ago that Petrol (or Gas) was the dominant fuel for motor vehicles whilst Diesel was considered the inferior, dirtier and more importantly cheaper cousin. After all, Diesel is just distilled oil whilst Petrol is a much more complex chemical mix. But when I stopped to fill up the car yesterday I noticed that standard unleaded petrol is romping in at 92.4 pence per litre whilst diesel was 98.4p. What surprised me even more was that the 3rd pump which has traditionally been for Super Unleaded has now changed to Ultimate Diesel. I knew that sales of diesel vehicles has rocketed since changes in the UK Company Car taxation system and environmental concerns kicked in, I have been driving a diesel myself for the last few years and many of the old perceptions (slow, smelly, noisy) simply don't apply any more. So what I don't understand is why this increased popularity has resulted in an increase in price. Surely with a larger set of customers then competitive pressure should "drive" the price down? Can this really just be oil companies fleecing the public again?
Incidentally, any North Americans who are complaining about their gas price being an average of $2.34 per gallon might like to consider that converting 98.4p per litre into the dollar equivalent means we are paying $8.80 per gallon.