Petrol prices 'may rise 8% by 2011'

Petrol prices could rise by 8% by the beginning of next year, an industry group has warned.

The Retail Motor Industry Independent Petrol Retailers Association (RMI Petrol), which represents around two-thirds of Britain's 9,000 petrol forecourt sites, said the expected rises will be a result of currency movements and world oil price increases.

RMI Petrol said fuel prices could rise as high as 125.9p per litre in the new year, smashing the current record high of 121.61p, with a rise in VAT and the planned hike in fuel duty adding to upwards pressure.

The group also warned the cost of filling up at the pumps could rise by as much as 3% in time for the August Bank Holiday weekend later this month.

RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson said: "The rebound in crude oil pricing is disappointing but not entirely unexpected. It will further increase pressure on independent retailers who are fighting for survival, especially in rural areas, due to the double hit of falling volumes and tighter margins."

RAC spokesman John Franklin said: "The future looks bleak for motorists, with rising oil prices and further tax hikes.

"The coalition Government have promised to take a look at options to control the price of petrol. However, the planned fuel duty and VAT rise are likely to add a further 5p a litre.

"If the Government really want to help motorists, they should abandon these planned increases."

Copyright © Press Association 2010