Petrol prices reach record high

The average price of petrol has reached a record high at just over 130 pence per litre – according to industry analyst, Experian Catalist.

The soaring prices at the pumps have resulted in a 15% increase over the last 12 months in petrol costs, with diesel now averaging 135.44 pence per litre.

And surging oil prices caused by unrest in the Middle East mean they are set to stay sky-high.

In the last month alone prices have gone up 10% following the uprising in Libya, who are a major oil exporter.

The increase in VAT, from 17.5% up to 20%, is also to blame for the sudden increase seen since 2010 when prices were 6 pence lower.

RAC motoring strategist, Adrian Tink, said the current unstable oil market and the intended fuel duty rise in April could see petrol prices ‘increase by another 8p a litre in the near future’.

He said: “This kind of rise will seriously impact on people’s car use, many of whom have no other option but to travel by car.”

And filling up a typical family car is now costing an extra £8.65 compared to last year.

AA president Edmund King said: “Now that petrol has hit record highs at the pumps the Chancellor must abandon the proposed tax hike (next month) and seriously consider reducing fuel duty to stabilise prices.

“The current fuel costs and political uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa means that the Government must bite the bullet and act to stop fuel prices from fueling inflation and driving people off the roads.”

The increase will also be felt elsewhere as holiday company Thomas Cook introduce a fuel surcharge on all flights. The surcharge applies to both flight-only or package holidays, and applies whether the trip is booked through a travel agency or directly with Thomas Cook itself.

The holiday company blames a 40% increase in fuel.

A spokesman for the company, Ian Ailles, said: “We’ve worked hard to keep the impact of the rising fuel costs on our holidaymakers to a minimum but the fuel levy is an unavoidable result of the rising price of oil.”

Sarah Taylor