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Fuel prices rise to their highest in nearly eight years

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Fuel is now at its highest price for nearly eight years after eight straight months of increases at the pumps, data from RAC Fuel Watch reveals.

A litre of unleaded rose by 2.7p from 129.52p to 132.19p taking it to a price last seen in October 2013, while diesel went up 2.5p from 131.79p to 134.32p – its most expensive price in two years (134.34p on 10 June 2019).

This means petrol has gone up 18p since 2 November 2020 when a litre cost 114.12p – an average of 2.25p a month – adding £10 to the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car.

The June rise alone added £1.50 to a tank of unleaded with the cost jumping to £72.70. The average cost of a complete fill-up with diesel is now £73.88 – an increase of £1.40 in the month.

The average price of unleaded at the country’s four big supermarkets now stands at 128.17p after going up 3.3p in a month. Diesel is 130.25p after a rise of 2.91p. This makes a tank of supermarket fuel on average £2.20 cheaper than at other forecourts.

June’s pump price rises have been driven by a 10% increase in the cost of oil which saw a barrel go up from $69.37 to $76.12 at the end of the month. This in turn has led to a 3p a litre hike in the wholesale cost of petrol and a 2p jump in diesel (petrol – 102.26p; diesel 101.76p).

RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “June proved to be a shocking month for drivers with not just the eighth straight monthly rise at the pumps, but a return to 132p a litre petrol – something we haven’t seen since October 2013.

“And if an 18p a litre hike in cost over eight months isn’t bad enough it’s hard to see the increases coming to an end as the price of oil seems to be going up and up, with $6 being added to a barrel in June alone. Compared a year ago oil is now $35 more expensive. What’s even more worrying is that some analysts are predicting an oil deficit by the end of the year, which could mean further relentless price rises in the coming months.

“If oil and, in turn, fuel prices continue to go up the UK’s staycation summer could end up being very expensive for millions of people.

“Ever escalating fuel prices may, however, help to speed up the switch to electric cars as that is a sure-fire way of avoiding the wallet-stinging feeling at the pumps. And while many drivers think getting into an electric car is expensive, it’s actually more affordable than ever as you can lease an EV via the RAC for as little as £227.99p a month. For anyone who drives in the region of 10,000 miles a year that would mean an annual saving of almost £1,500 at the current average petrol price of 132p a litre.”

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