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Filling up your car costs £10 more than it did last year

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The price of petrol and diesel in December was at its highest level since July 2015, according to the RAC.

Petrol and diesel prices rose by about 3p a litre from the start of December, with unleaded hitting 117.23p a litre and diesel at 119.63p by the end of the month.

Surprisingly, throughout December, the average price of a litre of supermarket fuel increased more than it did at other retailers – 3.34p for petrol and 3.16p for diesel, compared with 2.99p and 3.07p nationally.

The increased price of fuel means motorists filling up an average 55-litre family car with petrol has risen by £1.60 from £62.83 to £64.48. For diesel this means an increase from £64.11 to £65.80.

But RAC Fuel Watch found that over the course of 2016 unleaded went up by 14.5p a litre, while diesel motorists are now paying 18.5p a litre now.

As a result, it now costs £8 more for a tank of petrol than it did this time last year and it’s £10 more for diesel drivers.

RAC Fuel Watch said the rise in price was owing to the wholesale cost of both fuels rising by nearly 4p off the back of oil production cuts announced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the end of November.

This led to oil rising 11.75% from $49.09 on 30 November to $54.86 on 30 December, with the price going back up through the $50 a barrel mark for the first time since late October.

The price of oil is more than double what it was in January 2016 when a low of $26 a barrel was recorded.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams, said: “The rising oil price is bad news for motorists as it caused a nasty jump in pump prices in the most expensive month of the year.

“While forecourt prices rose by 3p a litre in December as the RAC predicted, they didn’t rocket as others had forecast. The big question now is how much further are they likely to go up, particularly in the long January wait to the next payday.

“We are optimistic that prices will not increase by another 3p a litre in January based on what’s going on with oil and wholesale fuel now, but if in the months ahead the barrel price was to get nearer to $60 and the pound was to weaken further then that would be the worst possible combination for motorists.”

The RAC’s current forecast for the next two weeks is for petrol to be around the 118p mark and for diesel to go up to about 121p a litre.

“We should also say that we need the pound not to lose any more value against the dollar as fuel, like oil, is traded in dollars,” Williams added.

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