April’s pump prices were highest for 16 months

April’s pump prices were highest for 16 months
New RAC data shows UK motorists have endured the sharpest rise in petrol and diesel prices since December 2016 – with few signs of improvement on the horizon.

Across the country, the average price of a litre of unleaded went up by 2.74p in April to 123.20p. It was the greatest increase in well over a year, and the highest average price since November 2014.

Diesel shot up by an average of 2.94p a litre last month to 126.02p – meaning that it now costs more than at any time since December 2014.

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The RAC’s Fuel Watch data also uncovers some interesting regional variations around the UK.

Unusually, it was Northern Ireland that suffered the steepest increase in petrol prices last month, with a 3.47p rise taking average prices in the province to 122.94p a litre.

Yorkshire and the Humber had the cheapest average petrol prices at the end of April, at 122.48p a litre.

Meanwhile, the South East remains the priciest part of the UK for both unleaded petrol (124.05p a litre) and diesel (126.79p a litre).

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams says a 12% jump in the price of oil from $67 a barrel to $75 “cost motorists dear” in April.

“The cost of filling up an average family-sized 55-litre car with petrol is now nearly £68, which is £4.50 more expensive than it was last July,” he noted.

“For diesel car drivers it’s even worse with a tank costing over £69, which is £5.50 more.”

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And the outlook for fuel prices is “not good at the moment”, Mr Williams warned.

The key factor, he explained, is whether the United States re-imposes crippling economic sanctions on Iran – the third-largest oil producer in OPEC.

If this happens and supply drops, “motorists will end up paying far more at the pumps”, he said.

“Our current two-week prediction is for prices to go up by a penny or so, but this could quickly get worse if oil gets more expensive and the pound weakens any further.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.