Filling station fuel pump

Petrol prices hit three-year high

Filling station fuel pumpUnleaded petrol prices have risen to levels not seen since the end of 2014 and it’s likely early 2018 is going to see even further increases at the pumps, reports RAC Fuel Watch.

Almost half a penny per litre was added to the price of a litre of petrol in December 2017, taking the average pump price up to 121.1p. Diesel, meanwhile, rose by 0.4p a litre, taking it up to 123.4p a litre.

It means that, since summer 2017, petrol prices have gone up 6.8p a litre and diesel prices have risen by an even heftier 8.4p a litre. A 55-litre tankful of unleaded now costs £3.73 more, while filling a tank of diesel is now up by £4.64 – that’s £67.90.

The cause, says RAC Fuel Watch spokesman Simon Williams, is a hike in oil prices, which have now reached a two and a half year high. At least the shutdown of a major oil pipe in the North Sea didn’t see further pre-Christmas hikes, despite expectations to the contrary.

That’s about it for good news, though. “It’s 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.” Blame OPEC, he said, which has cut production to push up the price of oil: these are now “starting to have the desired effect”.

We’ll simply have to look wistfully back on the heady days of early 2016, when fuel prices plummeted to a nationwide average of just 102p per litre.

But it could be worse, added Williams. Today’s prices are still far cheaper than April 2012, when petrol was averaging 142p a litre and diesel was nationally averaging a whopping 148p a litre…

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