Petrol prices latest

UK petrol price rises to within 3p of record

UK average pump prices rose to 139.71p a litre this weekend, within 3p of the 142.48p record

UK average pump prices rose to 139.71p a litre this weekend, within 3p of the 142.48p record

UK average pump prices rose to 139.71p a litre this weekend, within 3p of the 142.48p record set in mid April. The average cost of diesel reached 143.98p, compared to mid-April’s record of 147.93.

Petrol had fallen to a summer low of 130.81p and diesel 136.12, both on 1 July.

Since then, the cost of a typical 50-litre tank refill has risen £4.45 and £6.29 for an 80-litre commercial van tank. A two-car family is seeing its monthly petrol costs rise by £18.90.

Last week, European petrol refining margins rose to their highest level for five years, blamed on the impact of Hurricane Isaac, upcoming refinery maintenance schedules and refinery fires in North and South America.

The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation, but drivers are growing weary of words – they want action. The Justine Greening initiative to introduce a wholesale price track this year and make fuel prices more transparent would have been big step forward, but now it’s on hold.

Edmund King, AA president

Comment

“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,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.

“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. Closing Coryton and refineries on both sides of the Atlantic, supposedly because of excess production capacity, seems less justified; and why can’t planning and storage prevent maintenance schedules from driving up the price of petrol before they actually happen? Or is yet another convenient excuse for market speculators to make a killing at the expense of the consumer, business and economic recovery?”

King adds: “MPs debate ‘Effects of the Oil Market on the Price of Petrol and Diesel’ on Thursday and a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday looks at the fuel price-induced tragedy in rural Britain. The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation, but drivers are growing weary of words – they want action. The Justine Greening initiative to introduce a wholesale price track this year and make fuel prices more transparent would have been big step forward, but now it’s on hold.”


(updated 11 September 2012)

 

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