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Fuel prices hit yearly high amid ongoing Middle East tensions, warns RAC

Petrol and diesel prices have surged to their highest levels since last November, according to RAC's latest figures.

Simon Williams, a spokesperson for the motoring organisation, revealed that fuel prices have increased by approximately 9p per litre this year, adding an extra £5 to the cost of filling up an average family car.

Williams highlighted the significant impact of rising fuel costs on both households and businesses, noting the direct correlation between fuel prices and inflation rates. He also expressed concerns over potential further increases due to escalating tensions in the Middle East, predicting petrol prices could exceed 150p per litre, while diesel edges closer to 160p.

The RAC criticises the disparity between retail and wholesale fuel prices, especially for diesel, which has seen retailers' margins grow to 13p per litre—well above the long-term average of 8p. This issue has recently drawn attention from the Competition and Markets Authority, which has voiced concerns over the increasing retailer margins.

Simon Williams, RAC fuel price spokesperson, said: “This year is proving to be another tough one for drivers with the price of fuel going up 9p a litre so far, adding £5 to the cost of filling up an average family car.

“Both petrol and diesel are now the most expensive they’ve been since November last year which is bad for households, businesses and the economy, especially as we know there is a close link between fuel prices and inflation.

“With increased tensions in the Middle East, the cost of oil is only likely to go up which could push petrol well above 150p a litre. While diesel is getting close to 160p, this is purely down to retailers taking much bigger margins as there’s only been a few pence between the wholesale prices of both fuels since mid-March. We find it hard to believe that a margin of 13p a litre on diesel – compared to the long-term average of 8p – is fair. This surely won’t go unnoticed by the Competition and Markets Authority which only two weeks ago expressed its concern about higher retailer margins.”


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