Petrol prices have reached a record high and are expected to rise further in the coming weeks, adding to the burden on the already tight budgets of UK households.
The AA said petrol topped 148p a liter on Sunday, topping the previous high of 147.72p on November 21 last year.
Diesel prices have also increased, with the average price per liter at 151.57p, up from 151.10p on 20 November 2021.
The increases were driven by growing demand after the reopening of global economies and rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. A barrel of Brent crude, the world’s benchmark for oil, traded above $95 (£76.25) a barrel on Monday, its highest level in seven years.
“The cost of living crisis has ratcheted up another notch, tightening the grip on family spending amid further pressures from impending increases in the cost of home energy and taxes,” said Luke Bosdet. , spokesman for the AA on fuel prices.
An AA survey of 15,335 of its members found that 43% of motorists reduced car use, other consumer spending, or both. This figure rose to 59% among young drivers and 53% among low-income motorists.
Inflation hits a nearly 30-year high of 5.4%, and Wednesday’s official figures are expected to show more pain for households and increase pressure on the Bank of England to raise rates again of interest.
An RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: ‘Petrol has unfortunately reached a scary new high of 148.02p, which brings filling a 55-litre family car to £81.41. With the price of oil nearing $100 a barrel and retailers keen to quickly pass on higher wholesale fuel prices, new records could now be set daily in the coming weeks.
“The price of oil is rising due to tensions between Russia – the world’s third largest oil producer – and Ukraine, as well as oil production remaining out of step with demand as the world emerges from the pandemic. As a result, UK drivers could face even worse driving as prices at the pump are set to rise further.
“On a positive note, retailer margins – which were the reason drivers overpaid in December and January – have now returned to more normal levels of around 7p a litre.
“We urge the big four supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, to play fair with drivers and not make a bad situation on the forecourt worse by increasing their margins again.”