Petrol prices have risen to a three-year high - and they're expected to keep going up in 2018

Courtney Goldsmith
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Koehler Urges Higher Gas Prices
A not so happy new year for motorists (Source: Getty)

Petrol prices have risen to their highest level in three years on the back of strengthening oil prices, and they're set to keep going up throughout the year.

The average price of petrol increased for the second month in a row in December to the highest point since December 2014, rising from 120.66p to 121.11p, while diesel went up from 123.06p to 123.46p, according to RAC Fuel Watch data released today.

Petrol prices are up 6.8p a litre and diesel is up 8.4p a litre compared with July when pump prices were at the cheapest point of the year.

The average family driving a 55-litre car will pay £66.61 for a tank of unleaded fuel, up £3.73 from July, and £67.90 for diesel, up £4.64.

Oil prices rose throughout 2017 after members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-members including Russia agreed to reduce production to clear the global supply glut.​

The RAC said oil prices rose around three per cent in December, and they made a strong start to the year as well. Today, Brent crude oil traded at around $67 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, was about $61 a barrel.

“Sadly, December was the month oil reached its highest point for over two and a half years – something which motorists are now feeling the effect of at the pumps," said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“It’s hard to see pump prices getting much cheaper in the early part of 2018.

"Unfortunately, the good times of lower cost fuel appear to be over and it’s probably now far more likely that we will see them going up as Opec's oil production cuts are starting to have the desired effect of reducing the global oil glut and pushing the barrel price higher.”

Read more: What's next for oil and gold prices in 2018? Here's what analysts said

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