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Spiralling fuel prices burning a hole in motorists’ pockets

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Struggling households have been dealt another blow after the average UK petrol price increased 5.5% in just two months.

Santander 123 Credit Card’s latest Fuel Survey found the cost of filling up the average family car with a 70-litre tank is now £97.37 and in the UK’s most expensive areas to buy fuel, it now costs more than £100 to fill up the tank of a popular family people carrier such as a Ford Galaxy,

The average cost of unleaded fuel has spiralled by 7.3 pence per litre over the past two months, which means drivers of models like the Ford Focus with a 60-litre fuel tank must now pay an average of £83.48 to fill up – an increase of £4.38.

Motorists driving 1,000 miles a month at an average of 35 miles per gallon now spend over £180 on petrol every month, almost £10 more than in January, Santander said.

The report analysed the average price per litre (ppl) of premium unleaded fuel in every UK town between 4 January and 11 March 2013, and found that the most expensive place in the UK to refuel is Dumfries, Scotland where prices average 145.9 ppl, meaning owners of vehicles with 70-litre tanks will pay £102.13 to fill up.

Drivers of family vehicles in Durham should also expect to pay over £100 to fill their tanks, at an average of £100.03. In contrast, Torquay is the least expensive place in the country to buy petrol, at an average of 135.9 ppl, or £95.13 for a full tank.

The biggest increases since January of this year have been seen in Paisley, Durham and Hereford, where motorists pay 9 per cent more for unleaded fuel than just two months ago.

Alan Mathewson, CEO of Santander Cards, said: “With the cost of fuel expected to reach its highest level in the coming weeks, families and car commuters are likely to be the hardest hit once again. Aside from mortgage costs, households in the UK already spend more on transport than any other living cost, so further hikes may well push many family budgets over the edge. There are a number of small changes people can make to reduce these costs, such as car-pooling with colleagues, driving more economically or using public transport.”