Petrol prices soared to an all-time high on Sunday, reaching 142.94p a litre.
The new record is 28p a litre higher than a year ago, when petrol cost about 114.5p.
Motoring group RAC has described the outcome as a “dark day for drivers.”
The rebound has seen prices rise from pandemic lows of 106.48p in mid May 2020.
Diesel also reached 146.50p a litre on Sunday, still 1.43p short of its April 2012 record high of 147.93p.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said, “This is truly a dark day for drivers, and one which we hoped we wouldn’t see again after the high prices of April 2012. This will hurt many household budgets and no doubt have knock-on implications for the wider economy.”
Record petrol prices also arrived the weekend before 300,000 London residents within the newly extended Ultra Low Emission Zone face a daily £12.50 charge for driving older cars that don’t comply with emissions restrictions.
Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman added, “As for poorer motorists, many of them now facing daily charges to drive in cities, there is no escape. It’s a return to cutting back on other consumer spending, perhaps even heating or food, to keep the car that gets them to work on the road.”
The AA also argued that the petrol price crisis meant drivers should consider switching to electric vehicles.
He said, “Whether it’s down to oil producers, market speculators, Treasury taxes or struggling retailers trying to balance their margins, record pump prices must be saying to drivers with the means that it is time to make the switch to electric.”
RAC believed the rising petrol costs was not exclusively driven by rallying oil prices.
It argues that September’s switch to greener E10 petrol has also played a part, and suggested retailers are taking a bigger cut of every litre sold than they did at the start of the pandemic.
They added, “The big question now is: where will it stop and what price will petrol hit? If oil gets to $100 a barrel, we could very easily see the average price climb to 150p a litre.”