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Petrol prices start to rise as French strikes lead to shortages

Rebecca Goodman
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Rebecca Goodman

The cost of petrol and diesel has started to rise, after falling for the last three months, following strikes at French fuel refineries.

Over the weekend, the cost of petrol rose to an average of 162.78p a litre, from 162.32p. The cost of diesel rose to 182.17p a litre, from 180.45p, according to data from the AA.

The rise has been caused by an increase to wholesale costs, which has seen around $10 added to the cost of a barrel of fuel.

At the same time, strikes at fuel refineries in France have pushed up demand for petrol which has resulted in queuing at forecourts in the country and increasing costs.

The AA says more than a quarter of French fuel stations have now run out of one type of fuel or have none at all.

These two combining factors are expected to push up pump prices further.

Warnings to UK drivers

It is warning UK travellers driving through the country to be aware of the shortages. As the UK half term is just a week away, it’s expected many families may have trips booked to France.

Drivers are being advised to fill up before they leave the UK as a full tank should last for around 350 miles. Drivers can also check fuel stations stocks through this website.

They are also being encouraged to make their fuel go further, by reducing their driving speed and leaving more room between them and vehicles in front, to reduce braking and accelerating.

Record high fuel prices

Petrol prices soared earlier in the year, as a result of rising costs and the war in Ukraine.

In July, prices reached record highs of 191.53p a litre for petrol and 199.07p for diesel. Since then prices have been steadily falling.

Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman, said: “Diesel was always expected to go back up again, reflecting the seasonal trend of increased heating oil demand pressuring price on that part of a barrel of oil.

“However, not only is the rise in petrol prices a blow to UK drivers as domestic energy cost hikes now put the squeeze on family budgets, but petrol would normally be getting cheaper at this time of year after the US motoring season comes to an end.

“It is hoped that a combination of retailers taking their time to pass on previous falls in wholesale costs and supermarkets usually taking longer to pass on fuel cost increases will reduce the impact at the pump.”