Petrol pump prices highest since end of 2014

Petrol pump prices highest since end of 2014
The “good times” of lower fuel prices are behind us for now, the RAC has warned, as its figures point to a successive month of rises.

At the end of December, a tank of unleaded cost almost £4 more than it did in July 2017 – with diesel up by closer to £5 – and prices are likely to increase again during the opening stretches of 2018.

RAC Fuel Watch data shows owners of petrol vehicles face the highest prices they’ve encountered at the pumps in over three years – with a high of 121.87p recorded in South East England.

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Not since the end of 2014 has the price of unleaded been higher, the analysis shows, after December notched a near half pence a litre increase from 120.66p to 121.11p.

In addition to an expanding raft of penalties facing drivers of demonised diesel vehicles, its price also went up again last month, from 123.06p to 123.46p on average.

Fuel prices at the four big supermarkets went up by more than half a pence a litre in December, with petrol rising from 117.26p to 117.84p and diesel from 119.69p to 120.34p.

The figures are particularly ominous when compared to last July, when petrol was at its cheapest point of the year at 114.33p a litre, and diesel cost 115.02p.

The comparison means a tank of unleaded for an average 55-litre family car now costs £66.61 (£3.73 more than July), with a diesel tank at £67.90 (£4.64 more).

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Sadly, December was the month oil reached its highest point for over two and a half years – something which motorists are now feeling the effect of at the pumps.”

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He admitted it is hard to see pump prices getting much cheaper in the early part of 2018.

“Unfortunately, the good times of lower cost fuel appear to be over and it’s probably now far more likely that we will see them going up as OPEC’s oil production cuts are starting to have the desired effect of reducing the global oil glut and pushing the barrel price higher.”

Back in early 2016, both fuels averaged 102p a litre, the RAC points out, although it is still a far cry from the dark days of April 2012 when average prices hit 142p and 148p a litre respectively.

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