Petrol prices hit record high with £15 added to cost of filling up tank

Petrol prices have rocketed to a new record high amid a warning that fuel costs could see further increases.

The average price of petrol stood at 142.94p per litre on Sunday, 24 October, an increase of 28p per litre since October last year, meaning a 55-litre vehicle will now cost £78.61 to fill up, according to RAC Fuel Watch data.

The previous high of 142.48p per litre was recorded back in April 2012.

The price hike has been driven by the increasing oil prices throughout the last year, reports The Mirror.

Oil prices have doubled in the last 12 months.

The introduction of new E10 fuel has added to the increasing average, with the new fuel requiring more ethanol – another expensive commodity.

Meanwhile, diesel prices reached 146.5p a litre on Sunday, short of its all-time high of 147.93p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams warned that if the oil price reaches as high as $100, the price of petrol could go up to as much as 150p a litre.

September’s switch to greener E10 petrol has also played a part, as has the margin retailers are taking on every litre sold which is risen since pandemic restrictions eased.

On 1 September the bio content of unleaded increased from 5% ethanol to 10%, and as ethanol is more expensive than petrol, it added around a penny a litre to the cost on the forecourt.

The RAC warned this could rise still further in the coming days, as the price of ethanol has gone up by 52% since E10 was introduced.

Meanwhile, fuel duty at 57.95p a litre is putting further pressure on pump prices. This still exceeds the combined bio and petrol components which amount to around 50p.

Fuel duty has been frozen for the past 12 years – with the Chancellor set to reveal whether this will rise to 13-years during Wednesday’s Budget.

VAT currently equates to nearly 24p, but this is applied on top of all other elements of the petrol price including duty and retailer margin.

Petrol prices hit record high with £15 added to cost of filling up tank

Since April 2020 retailers have increased their average margin on a litre by 2p from around 5.5p to 7.5p a litre.

Earlier this month, motoring body the RAC accused some forecourts of taking advantage of the situation.

It said a “small number” were profiteering on the shortage of fuel.

Drivers reported being charged 154.9p a litre at one forecourt where the advertised price was 134.9p.

Another UK garage increased its fuel prices to 198.9p a litre, despite the average price for unleaded petrol that day being 134.86p a litre, and 137.35p for diesel.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said of the PRA’s warning: “The bioethanol component of unleaded has increased from 5% to 10% with the introduction of E10 in September and unfortunately that costs even more than petrol on the wholesale market.

“Retailers are also taking a bigger cut on petrol than they normally do at around 8p a litre which is a further blow to drivers, particularly as VAT is charged at 20% on top of this and the other increases.”

He added: “We strongly urge retailers not to contribute further to the pump price rise.

“While the cost of oil has more than doubled in a year, the price drivers pay at the forecourt is compounded by the fact there is nearly 58p in fuel duty charged on every litre. And, on top of the delivery cost and the retailer’s margin, you’ve then got VAT which currently accounts for 23p a litre – this has added 4p more a litre in just a year.

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“With just two weeks to go until COP26, we call on the Government to take action and do whatever it can to help ease the burden on drivers.”

AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said drivers should consider the switch to electric.

Bosdet 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.

“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.”

Latest inflation figures showed the cost of living rose 3.1% in September, fuelled largely by a petrol and diesel shortage.

It comes amid a 250% increase in gas wholesale prices and a HGV crisis that has pushed food prices up and left some supermarkets struggling to fill shelves.

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