Petrol Prices

New UK record as wholesale cost climbs higher

8 April 2010

The average price of petrol in the UK has broken through to a new all-time high, reaching 119.90p a litre in yesterday's trading, the AA reports. The previous record 119.7p was set on 17 July 2008.

Compared to the beginning of this year, a litre of petrol now costs 10.02p more, adding £5.01 to the cost of filling a typical 50-litre tank. A two-car family has seen its monthly petrol costs rise from £233.32 to £254.60.

The wholesale price of petrol has broken through $800 a tonne for the first time since October 2008. With the pound 13.5% weaker now than 18 months ago, it is likely that the pump price of petrol will rise another penny to around 121p a litre. Since October 2008, fuel duty has risen 6.84p a litre, with VAT adding 8p to the pump price.

Retail sources indicate that fuel sales are up to 20% lower than this time last year. Official statistics confirmed a 10% drop in petrol sales in the last quarter of 2009.

Comment

"For many drivers, today's record price underlines what they already know – the cost of petrol is becoming increasingly unsustainable," says Paul Watters, the AA's head of Public Affairs.

"Comments from retailers confirm research from the AA showing that two-thirds of its members are cutting back to compensate for soaring petrol prices. With some retailers putting up their prices and then bringing them back down over the Easter weekend, the UK road fuel market is clearly at a watershed – and there will be casualties among retailers and motorists."

"We can only hope that the May 6 election produces a result that strengthens the pound and puts downward pressure on pump prices. With potential consumer spending that would help fuel economic recovery being siphoned off at the pump, the stakes are high."

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9 April 2010