RAC warns motorists of likely pre-Christmas fuel price rises

RAC warns motorists of likely pre-Christmas fuel price rises
Motorists already feeling squeezed by the cost of Christmas are being warned that petrol and diesel prices could rise by as much as 3p a litre in the run up to December 25.

With current average prices of unleaded and diesel at 120.76p a litre and 123.21p a litre respectively, an extra 3p per litre would take prices to the highest levels since November 2014.

For petrol drivers this would mean the cost of filling up a 55-litre family-sized car would go up by £1.65 to £68.07, while diesel drivers would be paying £69.42 on average.

READ MORE: Petrol price hikes expected as oil value rises

The expected price hike is due to emergency repairs on the Forties pipeline, which mean it will be shut for several weeks. The pipeline is responsible for carrying 40% of North Sea gas and oil production and the closure is having an immediate impact on fuel prices.

RAC Fuel Watch data shows the price of Brent crude rose to $65.20 on December 11 – the highest it’s been since May 2015.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “An increase of up to 3p a litre is very bad news for motorists who are already having to endure the highest prices at the pumps for three years. This closure will inevitably lead to an unwelcome increase in the price with the knock-on effect of raising the wholesale cost of both fuels.

“This really isn’t what drivers need at Christmas when many are travelling longer distances to spend time with family and friends. This will only serve to make the most expensive time of year even more costly.”

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The expected rises are in stark contrast to December 2015 when the price of both petrol and diesel fell drastically as the price of oil crashed to below $40 a barrel. Both fuels could be bought for under 99p a litre.

The lowest price for unleaded seen this year was 114.33p in July, while diesel dropped down to 115.02p a litre in the same month.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.