Average petrol prices have passed the 130p a litre mark for the first time, the AA has revealed.
Prices at the pumps have reached an average of 130.03p a litre – only 2p away from the £6 gallon. Diesel is now averaging 135.44p a litre, the AA said.
It added that at the start of the year, petrol averaged 125.19p a litre before hitting 127.74p following the VAT rise on January 4. Diesel started at 129.30p before reaching 132.01 after the VAT increase.
A year ago, the pump price of petrol was 112.74p and diesel 113.79p. This means that filling up a typical 50-litre petrol tank now costs £8.65 more than a year ago. A two-car family is now paying £36.71 a month more for petrol than a year ago.
AA president Edmund King said: “Now that petrol has hit record highs at the pumps the Chancellor must abandon the proposed tax hike (next month) and seriously consider reducing fuel duty to stabilise prices.
“The current fuel costs and political uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa means that the Government must bite the bullet and act to stop fuel prices from fuelling inflation and driving people off the roads.”
RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said the current unstable oil market and the planned rise in April could see petrol prices “increase by another 8p a litre in the near future”
He added: “This kind of rise will seriously impact on people’s car use, many of whom have no other option but to travel by car.”
Shadow Treasury minister Kerry McCarthy said: “Everyone knows that the current turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa is having an impact on the global price of oil. It’s vital that ministers work with their international colleagues to do everything they can to ensure stability in the supply of oil over the coming weeks and months.
“But here in Britain the Conservative-led Government has made things worse with its VAT rise, which has added nearly 3p to the cost of a litre of petrol.”