With fuel prices creeping upwards again, I've just done something for what may well prove to be the final time. I've paid under £1 a litre for the privilege of filling up a car.
Okay, this was supermarket diesel, which I'm still convinced is probably not the highest-grade brew. And, at 99.9p/ litre, it was hardly offering me much of a saving compared to the psychologically-important £1 barrier.
To be honest, with the average litre of petrol or diesel now costing over £1.05 in the UK, and lots of motorway services charging over £1.10, I was surprised to find anywhere prepared to vend me a sub-quid litre. (This was in Swindon by the way - clearly a good place for cheap fuel.)
But here’s an interesting addendum. Despite increasing prices, the reduced consumption of modern cars means that the amount I actually pay per-mile has stayed broadly constant for the last 15 years. Yesterday when the pump clicked off my diesel A-Class had taken just under £52, on which it had managed 560 miles. Which works out at 9p/ mile.
Yet back in the mid-1990s, as a penniless student with a penchant for bangers I was paying more per mile to put fuel into the 1.3-litre Metro that I had unwisely purchased - and that was with petrol at under 60 pence a litre.