UK petrol prices pass £1.90p a litre despite wholesale prices falling

About 45% of Britons said they have cut back on car journeys due to surge

Petrol prices in the UK have reached record highs. Bloomberg
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UK retail petrol and diesel prices have reached new highs as the average pump price topped £1.90p a litre despite a drop in wholesale costs.

The average cost to motorists filling up a 55-litre family car rose to £104.62 ($128.37), the Royal Automobile Club motoring organisation reported.

Diesel increased to £1.98p, taking it within sight of the £2 per litre milestone.

Twelve months ago, diesel cost 133.5p per litre and petrol cost 131.1p.

“The cost of petrol at the pumps should really have stopped rising by now and should in fact be going into reverse,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“While there is no doubt wholesale costs increased dramatically a few weeks ago, this is not the case now.”

Though the price of unleaded petrol should fall, diesel is “likely to rise”, the RAC said.

Motoring group the Automobile Association described the rise as a “disgrace”.

“The fuel trade is either on a deliberate collision course with the government or they just don't care,” it said.

About 45 per cent of Britons said they have cut back on car journeys over the past two weeks after seeing a surge in fuel prices, new figures show.

Fuel reaches record highs in London

Fuel reaches record highs in London

The Office for National Statistics said the number of households reporting a rise in living costs has increased and that 91 per cent of Britons had seen a rise in the overall cost of living over the period to June 19 as food, energy and fuel all weighed on consumers.

This represented an increase from 88 per cent in a survey from two weeks earlier as inflation continued to rise.

The survey reported that 93 per cent of households said a rise in grocery bills had contributed to the higher cost of living.

The increased cost of energy was highlighted by 86 per cent of people, while 80 per cent blamed increased spending on fuel.

About 20 per cent said they were most worried about the higher cost of fuel, a jump up from 15 per cent in the previous survey period.

Downing Street declined to say whether the 5p fuel duty cut is sufficient to help households struggling with rising prices, pointing instead to a wider government support package.

“We know that many people are facing cost-of-living pressures up and down the country and we acknowledge that the price of petrol is one of those pressures,” a spokesman said.

“That’s why we introduced the 5p reduction in terms of duty, but it’s also worth remembering the wider package of support that the chancellor has announced that will mean that 30 per cent of households in the UK, so approximately eight million will receive £1,200 in extra support to help them through this difficult period.”

The survey also showed that almost half of consumers had to spend more than usual when shopping.

The statistics office revealed that 46 per cent of adults said they had seen the cost of products increase above the norm over the past two weeks, a major spike compared to the 18 per cent that reported increased prices last October.

Pump prices began to soar after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February led to fears over oil supplies.

Updated: June 20, 2023, 1:25 PM