Petrol is likely to reach £1.80 per litre this week, according to experts, as fuel costs continue to spiral.
The RAC predicts that petrol could reach an average of £1.80 per litre and diesel edge ever closer to £1.90 as the impact of wholesale costs and the weakening of the pound are passed on to customers by retailers.
Sunday, 5 June brought new record highs for petrol and diesel, with both surging almost 4p per litre from the end of May. A litre of petrol now costs an average of 177.88p and diesel 185p, according to the RAC Fuel Watch service.
RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said the “frightening” costs meant an average tank of petrol now costs nearly £98 and diesel nearly £102.
He added: “With oil above $120 a barrel and sterling still at $1.2, worse is still to come. Sadly, we expect to see the average price of petrol break through the 180p mark this week with diesel moving further towards 190p.
“More radical government intervention is urgently needed, whether that’s in the form of a further reduction in fuel duty or a VAT cut. As it is, drivers surely won’t be able to cope unless something is done to help. This is fast becoming a national crisis for the country’s 32m car drivers as well as countless businesses.”
Petrol prices soared by 10p per litre in May, with diesel climbing by 5p per litre, after relative stability in April.
The rises have been driven by growing global demand for oil and market uncertainty caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At the height of the Covid pandemic and during locking, petrol costs briefly fell to around £1 a litre as demand for fuel and oil collapsed.
However, since early 2021 demand from industry has climbed and oil producers have struggled to respond.
At the same time, Russia’s actions in Ukraine have created further concerns over supply.
Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer, responsible for around 10% of global oil output and its invasion of Ukraine has caused fears that its supply to international markets could be affected. Many countries have also announced their intention to ban imports of Russian gas and oil, which has pushed up the price of supplies from other oil-producing nations.
Oil has risen from around £55 per barrel in January 2021 to more than $120 in June 2022.
The UK’s fuel retailers have also been accused of keeing prices unneccesarily high and extending their profit margins rather than passing on fluctuations in price to drivers.