Do you want the Road Tax system to change? Do you have thoughts on the potential changes to the Road Tax system? | No thanks

Why is diesel more expensive than petrol?

Could you explain why the cost of diesel fuel is up to 8p per litre more than petrol? As diesel is a lower fraction of the crude oil from which it is made than petrol, it needs less processing and as it is used in volume by commercial vehicles, it should be cheaper, not more expensive.

Asked on 2 November 2012 by PW, Leicester

Answered by Honest John
It’s also heating oil. And less of it can be refined from a barrel of crude than petrol without employing some extremely expensive refining processes. The economics of supply and demand then decide the price.
Similar questions
You gave the correct explanation to PW of Leicester regarding the price of diesel. To expand on it, the fraction of the barrel that the diesel comes from has nothing to do with the price. As you wrote,...
In these parts, diesel is now 9p or 10p a litre more than petrol. How on earth can this differential be justified? Surely at these prices it is only worth having diesel for very high mileage vehicles?
Can you tell me if diesel engines use more fuel in winter?

Ask Honest John Right column

Value my car