Fuel prices in the UK reached a new record high on Sunday, as the average cost per litre of petrol surpassed 148 pence per litre for the first time.
Prices for petrol reached 148.02p, beating the previous high of 147.72p in November. Meanwhile, diesel reached 151.57p – also an all-time high.
“Petrol has unfortunately hit a frightening new high of 148.02p, which takes filling a 55-litre family car to an eye-watering £81.41,” said Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the RAC.
“With the oil price teetering on the brink of $100 a barrel and retailers keen to pass on the increase in wholesale fuel quickly, new records could now be set on a daily basis in the coming weeks.”
Prices of oil have increased by more than 60% in the last year, up from $60 to almost $100 per barrel. The bump in cost was originally said to be because of inflated demand during the pandemic.
The RAC claims the surge in price has also been caused in part by the tensions in eastern Europe.
“The oil price is rising due to tensions between Russia – the world’s third biggest oil producer – and Ukraine, along with oil production remaining out of kilter with demand as the world emerges from the pandemic,” Williams said.
“As a result, drivers in the UK could be in for an even worse ride as pump prices look certain to go up even more.”
The RAC did however suggest that retailer margins for fuel – the main reason for the previous record high for customers – are now back to normal, at around 7p a litre.
“We urge the big four supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, to play fair with drivers and not to make a bad situation on the forecourt any worse by upping their margins again,” Williams said.
The AA, meanwhile, noted that the price rises will further impact Britain’s most vulnerable families and that further rises are inevitable.
“The cost-of-living crisis has been ratcheted up yet another notch, tightening the vice on family spending when it faces other pressures from impending domestic energy cost and tax increases,” said fuel-price spokesman Luke Bosdet.
“Businesses warned this week that they have no option but to pass on higher costs to consumers. The latest jump in the price of diesel, the workhorse fuel of business and haulage, ramps up that inflationary pressure even more.”