UK petrol prices rise to record 121.76p

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

In the United Kingdom, the average price of unleaded petrol has reached a record high of 121.76p a litre. The previous peak was 121.61p a litre, on May 12, 2010. In comparison to last year, petrol is more expensive by 11.88p, according to The Automobile Association (AA). The price for 50 litres has therefore increased by £5.94.

[I]t is an even more uncomfortable ride for families trying to keep cars on the road.

—Edmund King, AA

Edmund King, current president of the AA, stated: "In the past week, we have seen the average price of petrol shoot up 1.7p a litre across the UK and diesel rise 1.61p. It comes at a particularly bad time for drivers, who have struggled with appalling winter weather and often seen their fuel drain away while stuck in snow-bound traffic jams. Our only hope is that either oil and fuel markets settle back down or the pound strengthens against the dollar. Until then, it is an even more uncomfortable ride for families trying to keep cars on the road."

iAt 125.73p a litre on average, diesel is approximately eight pence lower than its July 2008 peak of 133.25p; It remains 14.21p more expensive than last year.

In January 2011, the prices of fuel are anticipated to rise again due to the increased value added tax rate and higher hydrocarbon oil duty prices coming into effect. Adrian Tink, a motoring strategist for the RAC, believes that the latter should be called off: "It's unbelievable to think that, compared with this time last year, petrol is 13p a litre more expensive. That's over £7 more every time you fill up an average tank. While the increases this year have been driven by a number of factors, you can't get away from the fact that we have seen five rises in fuel duty in the past two years — and we're due another one in January, plus a VAT rise. Who knows what the price will be come January 5, 2011? An average of 125p per litre is very feasible."