The price of both petrol and diesel has risen by more than a penny a month over the past year, reports RAC Fuel Watch. A steep rise of 1.65p per litre in the price of unleaded last month is behind the unenviable record.
Diesel prices rose by 1.32p a litre in August 2018, completing a run of increases for nine of the past 12 months.
RAC Fuel Watch blames the weaker pound and stronger price of a barrel of oil – now more than $70 – for the fuel price rises.
Both petrol and diesel are currently their most expensive since 2014. Back then, the price of a barrel of oil was $106. Fuel is so costly today because of the weakness of a pound: in 2014, it was worth $1.70. Today, it’s worth just $1.29.
“It’s rapidly becoming a horrible year on the UK forecourts” said RAC spokesperson Simon Williams, “and it looks like further increases are inevitable.
“Having benefitted from some very low prices two and a half years ago, drivers now get a nasty shock every time they go to fill up their cars, having to fork out more and more.”
There’s no end in sight, either. Indeed, because the pound is so weak, said Williams, “it will take only a moderate rise in the price of oil for some eye-wateringly high prices to be seen at the pumps”.
He highlighted this with a theoretical increase in the price of a barrel of oil, to $80: this could see petrol rise to 142p a litre, and diesel increase to 148p a litre.
“We could even see pump prices heading towards the record highs of April 2012.”