Petrol prices hit £1.51 per litre as cost of living crisis deepens
UK petrol prices have broken records yet again following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has further driven fears of supply shortages and seen oil prices spike to over $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014.
The latest fuel watch figures from motoring group RAC reveal that unleaded petrol hit a peak on Sunday, with the average price of topping 148p for the first time ever (148.02p).
Diesel has also reached a new all-time high at 151.57p, meaning prices have risen to £83.36 for a full tank in a 55-litre family car.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams argued that with oil prices reaching $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 over the coming weeks.
He explained: “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. 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 motoring group did praise retailers for not taking advantage of the current volatility, following sustained criticism of petrol sellers over the Christmas period – and called on supermarkets to be reasonable with drivers amid a cost of living crunch.
He said: “On a positive note, retailer margins – which were the reason drivers paid overly high prices in December and January – have now returned to more normal levels of around 7p per 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.”
The developments exacerbate the country’s cost of living crisis, with household energy bills set to rise to nearly £2,000 per year from April and with grocery inflation rising to its highest levels in a decade.