Cost of filling up family car hits £81 as petrol prices soar to record high and experts warn of frequent rises amid ‘perfect storm’
- Petrol prices hit an all-time high over the weekend, triggering fresh concerns
- The average price of unleaded hit 148.02p a litre –a four-month record
- Experts warned motorists to brace themselves for record prices on a daily basis
Petrol prices hit an all-time high over the weekend, triggering fresh concerns about the cost of living.
The average price of unleaded hit 148.02p a litre – surging past the previous record of 147.72p set on November 21 last year.
Experts warned motorists to brace themselves for record prices on a daily basis amid a ‘perfect storm’ of global factors, including the Ukraine crisis. It means petrol could surpass the milestone of 150p a litre within weeks.
Ministers are facing mounting pressure to take action by slashing motoring taxes.
The price of petrol has hit a new record high, reaching 148.02p a litre on average today (File image)
The RAC, which wants 20 per cent VAT on fuel to be cut dramatically, warned that spiralling costs will leave many household budgets on a ‘knife edge’.
Meanwhile, an AA poll found four in ten motorists were already cutting back on car use or other spending.
The cost of filling up a typical family car with a 55-litre tank is now £81.41, up from £58.56 in May 2020, when petrol prices plunged because of the first coronavirus lockdown.
The typical motorist fills up twice a month, meaning monthly petrol bills have increased by more than £45 over this period – or nearly £550 a year.
Diesel has continued to climb, too. On Thursday it reached 151.21p a litre, beating the record set in November of 151.10p. On Sunday it hit 151.57p.
Diesel is predominantly used by the logistics and haulage industry, meaning the price of goods on supermarket shelves is likely to rise further because increased delivery costs are usually passed on to shoppers.
Prices last reached record levels in November before a dip but have climbed since January (File image)
Oil giant BP has posted its highest annual profit in eight years amid mounting pressure on the sector as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. And London-based energy giant Shell has increased its profits nearly fourteen-fold to £12billion, it was revealed last week
Household budgets are already being squeezed by rising energy bills, inflation and, from April, the 1.25 percentage-point national insurance hike. Experts warned petrol and diesel prices were likely to rise further because tensions with Russia – the world’s third biggest oil producer – have spooked global markets.
It comes as global oil prices have soared, with a benchmark barrel of Brent Crude nearing $100 – a price not seen since September 2014.
It is up nearly 60 per cent from about $60 last February amid growing demand as the pandemic subsides and economies reopen.
Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesman, said: ‘New records could now be set on a daily basis in the coming weeks. We’re on a knife edge when it comes to pump prices.’
Luke Bosdet, AA fuel spokesman, said ‘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.’
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign group, renewed calls for ministers to cut fuel duty, which accounts for 57.95p of every litre of petrol or diesel bought.
Smart M-ways pledge hits reverse
Two thirds of new smart motorways are to open without extra emergency laybys – despite ministers promising 150 of them.
Of six schemes under construction, four will open as originally designed with laybys up to 1.5 miles apart.
This contradicts guidelines laid down by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that the distance should not exceed a mile.
They are on stretches of the M27, M4, M56 and M6. The extra refuges will be fitted by 2025 after they are completed.
A second scheme on the M6 and one on the M1 will get additional refuges before being opened.
Last month Mr Shapps said the six schemes totalling 100 miles would go ahead because they were more than half completed.
He announced £390million for the 150 extra laybys. He also ordered 11 other schemes to be halted so more safety data can be gathered.
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