|Petrol Prices 1983-2009|
|Year||Price per Litre (p)||Price per Gallon (£)|| Retail |
| Petrol Price |
in constant terms
| 5-year |
Obviously the headline figure is that allowing for inflation, fuel is actually 4% cheaper now than it was in 1983. There's a bit more to it than that. Petrol prices have risen sharply over the past few months (oddly, diesel prices stayed pretty stable. Normally there's about a 5-10% difference, but now they're about the same).
The table is made up of prices obtained in March of each year. It's anecdotal, but consistent. I'd imagine that in a few months, an updated table would say that petrol, allowing for inflation, is around 10% dearer than in 1983, just as the 2008 figures did. I remember diesel costing upto about £1.30 a litre at one point in 2008 before prices fell back.
What difference does it make to me? Well, according to the back of this fag packet, I'm doing a little over 600 miles a week, averaging about 45 miles to the gallon. So I'm using about 13.5 gallons of diesel a week.
1 Imperial Gallon (UK) = 4.54609188 litres
13.5 x 4.54609188 = just a little bit over 60 litres.
So if it goes up by 1p, that makes me 60p a week worse off. If it goes up by 10p, I'll be a six quid down. If it goes up to £2.00 a litre, my fuel overheads will go from about £66 a week to about £120. That would take my total overheads (car lease, franchise fee, insurance, and fuel are my only real expenses apart from the occasional new tyre or bulb) from about £260 a week to around £320 a week.
I charge my pupils £20/lesson so currently, I have to work for 13 lessons to break even. If I work 20 lessons in a week, I make a profit of 7 x 20 = £140. If I do 40 lessons, then I earn 27 x 20, or £540 (all before tax and national insurance). I try to aim for an average of about 35 hours a week. That's a pre tax wage of about £440. I could work harder, but I don't want to, thank you very much.
If the price of diesel goes up by about 32p/litre (this would take it to about £1.40/litre), I will have to work an extra hour each week to pay for it.
Some time in the next few years, if the Richard heinbergs of this world are correct, prices will really start to ramp upwards as supply consistently fails to match demand. It's not really hitting me yet though, and I'm a relatively big user of the stuff.