The average price of petrol has risen again to top the £6/gallon or 132.12p/litre mark. Diesel prices have also gone up to a new record of 137.92p/litre.
Since the start of the year, petrol costs have risen 6.93p/litre – and 1.68p/litre in the last week alone, said the AA. Compare this to the same time last year, when the average cost for a litre of petrol was 114.30p and 115.31p for diesel.
Chancellor George Osborne has hinted that the planned 1p fuel duty hike due in April could be scrapped.
In the same period, the price of oil has increased, going from 85 US dollars (£52.4) a barrel to 113 US dollars (£69.7). A household with two petrol cars will see the monthly cost of fuel rise to £280.54, from £242.70 last March.
Struggling to stay on the road
AA president Edmund King said: “£6 a gallon is not just another milestone along the road to higher fuel prices, it marks the point at which the wheels start to come off mobility in 21st-century UK.
“Lower-income drivers, poorer rural residents, volunteer drivers, youngsters looking to their first jobs are some of the vulnerable groups struggling to stay on the road.
“The Government must act urgently to reduce the burden of high fuel duty and VAT. In the meantime, drivers are going to have to manage as best as they can, by cutting out journeys, driving more economically and hoping that a stronger pound will cushion some of the blow.
“But these high prices are already leaving casualties among drivers, consumers and business.”
Driving more slowly
Motorists are adapting to the rising cost of fuel by changing the way they drive – they are making fewer journeys, combining trips with colleagues or friends and using public transport for long journeys.
There is also anecdotal evidence that people are driving more slowly, particularly on motorways. A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport says driving at 80mph will cost you about 10% more in fuel than driving at 70mph. Drivers are economising and seeing how long they can make their tank of petrol last.