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Petrol prices near record high
Petrol prices are back up to near-record levels, with a litre of fuel now costing 139.71p on average – within 3p per litre of the 142.48p per litre record set back in April this year.
The increase in cost at the pumps has come from soaring European refinery profits, now at a five-year high, according to the AA.
Diesel, too, has not been immune from this slow creep back towards an all-time high for fuel prices. A litre of the heavier hydrocarbons now costs 143.98p on average – 4p per litre shy of the mid-April record of 147.93p for a litre of diesel.
Just two months ago, petrol and diesel costs had fallen to a summer low of 130.81p and 136.12p per litre respectively. Since 1 July, a litre of petrol has risen in cost by 7%, while costs for the same quantity of diesel have grown by 5.5%.
As a result, the cost of filling a 50-litre fuel tank – the typical size for an average family car – has increased by a hefty £4.45, meaning a two-car family’s fuel expenditure will increase by roughly £18.90 per month, or £227 per year.
Recent inflation in fuel costs has also hit businesses hard – to brim an average 80-litre van tank will cost an extra £6.29 over what it did just 9 weeks ago.
AA president, Edmund King:
“Once again UK drivers find themselves being dragged over a barrel, as does business and Bank of England inflation targets.
“Last week, Government statistics showed that traffic on minor country roads fell by 5% – such was the impact of record high fuel prices on rural communities.
“Traditionally, the price of petrol falls off at the end of summer, which makes five-year-high refining margins pushing up pump prices a particularly bitter pill to swallow.”
Two debates into petrol prices will take place in Westminster this week following the announcement that the Office of Fair Trading will investigate forecourt prices after alleged “manipulation or distortion” of the oil price market and traders influencing values.
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