Petrol prices hit record high of 142.9p
Data from the RAC shows the price of unleaded has rocketed by 28p a litre in a year from 114.5p in October 2020, adding £15 to the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car.
The spike in prices has primarily been driven by the soaring price of oil, which has doubled from around $40 a barrel to $85 now, with some analysts predicting it could hit $90 by the end of the year.
However, the oil price isn’t the only contributor to the dramatic price hike.
According to the RAC, the switch to greener E10 petrol last month has also played a part.
On 1 September the bio content of unleaded increased from 5 per cent ethanol to 10 per cent, and as ethanol is more expensive than petrol, it added around a penny a litre to the cost on the forecourt.
The margin retailers are taking on every litre sold is also now greater than it was prior to the start of the pandemic, the motoring group said.
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.
“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.
“Even though many people aren’t driving as much as they have in the past due to the pandemic, drivers tell us they are just as reliant on their cars, and many simply don’t have a choice but to drive. Those on lower incomes who have to drive to work will seriously struggle to find the extra money for the petrol they so badly need.”